By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com
The Carabelli family is all about the UMass-Boston Beacons.
Goaltender Sal Carabelli, a driving force for the Florida Jr. Blades over the last two of his three-year USPHL Premier career, will be joining his brother Gino at UMB, after committing to the NCAA Division III institution in late May.
“UMass-Boston has been at the top of my list over the last few years since my older brother committed there,” said Sal. “I started reaching out to their coaches several months ago but began more serious conversations about joining their roster after our season concluded.”
Carabelli, an ‘02 from Shelby Township, Mich., leaves the Jr. Blades as their all-time leader in goaltender games played (regular season and playoff) with 61 and is also their wins leader with 25. He helped the Jr. Blades to reach the 2022 USPHL National Championships, as well. He’s excited to bring his high level of play over a long period of time to Boston, Mass.
“What interested me the most about UMass-Boston’s hockey team was their excellent reputation. The opportunity to compete in the highly-competitive NEHC conference against some of the top teams in the division was also a major factor in my decision,” said Carabelli. “UMass-Boston also has a wide range of academic offerings that I’m excited to explore.”
Already having a brother there (a rising junior forward, Gino has played in 46 career games, scoring 10 points), the campus is familiar to Sal who has visited in the past. He sees UMB continuing to build and is becoming a larger part of the overall Boston academic community that also includes so many world-renowned institutions.
“UMass-Boston has a beautiful campus located on the waterfront in Boston. They have made a lot of changes to their campus over the last few years and it’s going to continue to develop during my time here, which will be exciting to watch,” added Carabelli, who is currently undecided on his major but is leaning towards business. “Having our rink on campus is a huge plus and is very exciting to me. I am also ecstatic to be in the city for school, so that I can easily access internships and job opportunities. It was an easy decision to make my commitment official.”
It was also an easy decision last year to return to the Jr. Blades, and he has nothing but good things to say and happy memories to take from his time in beautiful Estero, Fla.
“I signed with the Florida Jr. Blades originally because they offered me the opportunity to have the most playing time possible and to develop as a player,” said Carabelli. “Overall, I have loved spending the last few seasons with the Florida Jr. Blades. The lessons that I have learned and the relationships that I’ve made since being on the team have shaped me into the person and player that I am today. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn within their organization.”
Carabelli also reflects on being able to work 1-on-1 with a goaltending coach that helped propel his game to high levels, including the 2022 Nationals.
“The support I received from my goalie coach, Jordan Bustard, and all the coaches helped me elevate my game over the last couple of years,” he added. “The weekly goalie sessions and watching video provided by the coaching staff helped me to continually improve throughout my time on the team.”
After originally starting in the USPHL Premier in 2020-21 with the Metro Jets’ former Metro Hockey Club (MHC) team, Carabelli certainly is happy with his Path To College Hockey through the Premier Conference, which features the unparalleled USPHL Showcase Series as well as the greatest Tier III championship event you’ll find, the USPHL National Championships.
“The league does a great job organizing showcases to allow college coaches the opportunity to recruit from our teams. As a player, I appreciated and valued the platform that was given to us to show our abilities on the ice,” he added. “It was always nice to compete against teams from different divisions to see how well we stacked up. The games were always competitive, and I looked forward to the challenge.”
Of course, now Carabelli knows he faces the challenge of college shots – more force and speed, more accuracy – and he’s going to spend the summer getting ready in order to make his best possible contribution to the 2023-24 Beacons season.
“I am going to try to improve in all aspects of my game, however I really want to focus on my technical side,” he added. “There’s always room to improve and I think dialing in on being more technical in the crease will help me excel at the NCAA level.”
The USPHL congratulates Sal Carabelli, his family, the Florida Jr. Blades and UMass-Boston for his commitment.