By Victoria Mescall
Circulation Manager & Staff Reporter
On Feb. 25 Teagan Ketchum, a Sacred Heart University senior and member of the women’s ice hockey team, was surprised by her older brother, United States Navy Petty Officer Second Class Trevor Ketchum, at her game against Saint Anselm University.
The surprise took place when Teagan was called to center ice for the starting faceoff, and her brother Trevor walked out on the ice to do the puck drop.
“When we first lined up on the blue line, I didn’t even hear my name called,” said Teagan. “One of my teammates, Maddie Bishop, pushed me forward. And that’s when I heard my brother’s name.”
Her brother was returning home from a 14-month deployment.
“When I turned toward the announcer, and saw him coming out of the box, I couldn’t help myself, I was so happy to see him,” said Teagan.
Teagan’s mother had originally led her to believe that Trevor would not be able to make it home until graduation in May.
“I worked with my mom for a week or so to come up with the plot,” said Trevor. “We kept it a secret that I was coming back early, and all of the family hid outside the rink until the team came out for their line up.”
Trevor hid in the penalty box so that he would not be seen until he was called to do the opening puck drop.
“I was excited to see her, but I was worried that she would tackle me on the ice,” said Trevor. “I didn’t expect her to start crying and calling me names. It was great to finally give her a hug after so long and I know how much she loves her hugs.”
Since the siblings had not seen each other in over a year, the reunion was emotional for the both of them.
“My brother and I have always been close,” said Teagan. “Ever since I was little he took care of me. He is the reason I started to play hockey because I wanted to be just like him. It has been hard to not be able to see or talk to him. To finally be able to hug him was the best feeling.”
Sean Kaschak is the Sacred Heart videographer who captured the emotional homecoming.
“I got a call from the athletics department the day before explaining that Teagan’s brother, Trevor, was going to surprise her, and that all of their video folks were tied up that day,” said Kaschak. “I run the social media accounts here at SHU and I produce a lot of video content, so I was glad to be at the top of their call list.”
Kaschak said that he grew up watching and playing hockey, so he jokingly told the athletics department that he would only film if they let him do so on skates. The department was happy to oblige, and Kaschak even said that it made the job easier.
“I was honored to get to be a part of that moment as it was,” said Kaschak. “Videos like that get me every time, so it was really cool to be a part of one.”
The two-minute clip was viewed over 41 thousand times via Sacred Heart’s Facebook page, and was featured nationally by various news and sports outlets, including ESPN.
“10 views or one million views, it was such a neat thing to get to do and I get a kick out of watching Teagan’s reaction over and over,” said Kaschak. “I doubt it will ever get old.”
After falling to Saint Anselm in their game on Saturday, the women’s ice hockey team played Franklin Pierce University Sunday, Feb. 26 in the consolation round of the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Open Tournament.
To finish out the weekend and the Pioneer’s season, Teagan scored the final shootout goal.
After the game had reached a 4-4 tie and the five-minute overtime remained scoreless, the two teams went into a best-of-three shootout to determine final tournament placement.
In the shootout, Teagan’s goal closed out the season and secured the team’s third place finish in the NEHC Open Tournament.
Teagan said that for her shootout goal, she was more nervous than she had ever been.
“We practice shootouts in our pre-game skates every weekend and I always joke about only having one move,” said Teagan. “But I remember our assistant coach turning to me and saying, ‘pull your move, snipe a shot to the right,’ and it worked.”