Bucci kept working and remained positive, making the most of spot starts. O’Neill recognized Bucci’s hard work both at practice and in workouts and eventually, Bucci proved his worth and has been in the lineup every night for the home stretch of the season. His presence seemed to lift the entire team as the Vikings finished the season winning six of its last seven.
“It’s been some ups and downs. At the beginning of the year I wasn’t playing, then in the middle of the year I played some. The last eight or nine games I’ve been staying in. The set lineup has helped the consistency of our team,” said Bucci, who has seven points in 11 games.
“I could have given up. I was a little frustrated but it was a good life lesson. I kept working and a couple bounces fell for me.”
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Cashin, always one of the last Vikings off the ice at practice, is a rock on the blueline as well as reliable. One of SSU’s leaders in ice time who plays on both special teams units, he can also play forward and is the ideal player in 4-on-4 situations due to his speed and playmaking ability.
“He’s a horse,” O’Neill said of Cashin, a former Masconomet Regional star who has played in all 27 of the Vikings’ games. “He logs lots of minutes and plays every situation.”
Cashin’s familiarity with offense makes him that much more valuable back on D. The more he can think like a forward, the better he’s prepared to stop the opposition.
“Being able to do both positions is an advantage. When I’m on offense I know where the defense is going to be and when I’m on defense I know where the offense is going to be,” said Cashin. “I enjoy doing it. I love blocking shots and doing it for my teammates.”