Ten Questions With: Colby Cretella

Former Notre Dame-West Haven hockey forward Colby Cretella

Former Notre Dame-West Haven forward Colby Cretella (#10) skates up ice.

In this week’s installment of 10 Questions With…, Colby Cretella discusses what’s up next for him in his hockey career. An All-State selection at Notre Dame-West Haven High School, Cretella led the Green Knights to a division one state hockey championship in 2012.


NUTMEG HOCKEY: After an up-and-down season in 2010-2011, Notre Dame-West Haven seemed to be able to bring it all together this season, culminating in a D1 state championship. What do you think contributed to your team’s success in 2011-2012?

COLBY CRETELLA: This past season we were able to build off of the great team chemistry and winning mentality that we developed in 2011. Our team this year was a very close group that worked our hardest for each other every game. It also helped that we were very deep in every position.

NUTMEG HOCKEY: Who were some of the top players you faced this year at Notre Dame-West Haven?

COLBY CRETELLA: Ethan Holdaway was, in my opinion, the top player that we faced this season. He has incredible speed and he competes very hard every game. He also has very good hockey sense. Other top players we played against included David White from Fairfield Prep, who is a pure goal scorer and elite player, and also Kyle Leyerzapf from West Haven, who is a great puck moving defenseman.

NUTMEG HOCKEY: You’re slated to attend Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter, NH) next season. Describe for other players/parents/coaches how you decided that Exeter was the right school for you?

COLBY CRETELLA: Coming into the 2011-2012 season, I knew that I wanted to eventually play college hockey and that I would have to play a year or a few before going to college. Because of this I explored the possibilities of both the Prep and Junior routes. When the opportunity to attend Exeter came up, I knew for sure that was the place I wanted to be next year. They have an unbelievable academic program and reputation, and also a very strong team historically. I had heard great things about their coach, Dana Barbin, and when I visited I had a great experience. I couldn’t be happier with where I’m headed.

NUTMEG HOCKEY: What are your biggest strengths as a hockey player?

COLBY CRETELLA: My biggest strength as a hockey player is my hockey sense. Also my competitiveness is another strength of mine.

NUTMEG HOCKEY: How much off-ice work (weights, dry-land conditioning, etc.) do you do as part of your overall hockey regimen?

COLBY CRETELLA: During the summer off-ice work is very important and can lead to big improvements on the ice. I work on strength training 5 days a week and spend a few days a week running sprints. Also, I try to shoot pucks as much as possible to work on my shot.

NUTMEG HOCKEY: What professional (or college) player do you pattern your style after?

COLBY CRETELLA: I’ve watched a lot of Yale hockey games over the years and have seen Denny Kearney play a lot. I think that I’ve learned a lot from watching him play. I try to play similarly to him by being a creative playmaker with a responsible defensive game. As for a pro player I’d like to think that I play similarly to Zach Parise.

NUTMEG HOCKEY: What area of your game do you hope to improve upon the most this year at Exeter?

COLBY CRETELLA: I want to work on doing everything faster and stronger. I would also like to specifically improve on my crossovers and tight turns to create space.

NUTMEG HOCKEY: Who has had the biggest influence on your hockey career to date and why?

COLBY CRETELLA: My father has had the biggest influence because of his constant support. He first introduced me to the game at a young age and always has been a good influence. He’s been my biggest supporter throughout my hockey career. My dad comes to every game of mine. He doesn’t put pressure on me to perform, but he does give good feedback to me when I ask him to.

NUTMEG HOCKEY: What advice do you have for other young players coming up that want to take their game to the next level?

COLBY CRETELLA: Play the game because you love it. Just always have fun. It’s an incredible game that we have the opportunity to play so always be thankful and enjoy it. If you are enjoying yourself when you’re playing hockey, that will lead to hard work and motivation, and you will improve.

NUTMEG HOCKEY: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

COLBY CRETELLA: I want to have graduated from college. Maybe I’ll still be playing hockey at a high level, or coaching, or maybe I’ll have a job in the business world.

Thanks, Colby. Best of luck to you next year at Exeter.

Exeter prep hockey player Colby Cretella SEASON: 2011-2012
TEAM: Notre Dame-West Haven
STATS: 25g, 30a, 55pts
2011-2012 Notre Dame-West Haven Team Captain
2011 New Haven Register All State, Honorable Mention
2011 Connecticut Junior Selects Game MVP
2012 All-SCC, Division 1, 1st Team
2012 CHSCA All State, Division 1, 1st Team
2012 Connecticut Post All-Star
2012 New Haven Register All Area
2012 New Haven Register All State, 1st Team
2012 Connecticut High School Hockey Senior All-Star