The Arno twins of Natick, Mingolelli, Idelson of Framingham and Tersoni forge bonds on the ice

Passion for someone or something is usually a powerful experience. Its lifespan, however, can never be counted. People and places change, life takes a sharp turn, and you’re somewhere else doing something else with someone else. New job, new friends, new places.

Exceptions? Sure. Take the Arno twins from Natick. They were taken away by hockey when they were about 4 years old. They were on skates, indoors, skating around the rink, pushing a chair across the ice for balance. Chair hockey. And then they discovered Lake Cochituate. “As soon as the ice froze, we skated from sunrise to sunset, all day,” recalls Dillon Arno. “We played neighborhood games. There were lots of children. »

An adventure in youth hockey led to productive careers at Natick High for both. “I can’t remember a time when we weren’t on the same line,” Dillon said. The coaches let it go. “They thought we worked well together. We knew everyone’s tendencies,” Dillon added.

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The twins graduated in 2018. It could have broken their partnership. This does not happen. There was more ice time in their hockey core, even more time on the same line. Off the Arnos left, unpacking at the University of New Hampshire and playing a big brand of club hockey. The team has been to the national tournament twice, in Dallas (2019, won 2 games) and St. Louis (this season, 1 win).

If the Arno twins wanted to avoid hockey, they should have run away from home. An older brother, Justin, played at Natick High. Their father, John, was a huge hockey fan. Another older brother, Josh, played the role of goalkeeper. Well OK, he played football. He took his game to Framingham State University.

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As for the twin thing, “We’re pretty close,” Al Arno said. “Fortunately, we like the same things. We were on the same line for about eight years.

Of course, it takes three players to make a line. This is where Ricky Mingolelli comes into play. You see, Mingolelli also played for the UNH club team. Guess who his teammates were? The Arno twins. Guess where Mingolelli played high school hockey? Natick.

Left to right, Ricky Mingolelli, Al Arno and Dillon Arno, of Natick, were teammates for the University of New Hampshire club hockey team.

During a broadcast of one of the team’s domestic tournament games, the play-by-play guy looked at the roster sheet, looked twice, and found “The Natick Line.” Costs. But the Arnos graduate in May; Mingolelli is still a year old. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without them,” he said. “I’ve known them for so long.”

Another twin thing: Mingolelli said their friends at UNH wondered how he could tell the twins apart. “I tell them Dillon doesn’t wear a hat, Al always does.” You could imagine students approaching one of the twins the next day wearing a hat and wondering which one Ricky thought was wearing the hat? Is there no end to life’s difficulties?

In the penultimate game of this season, Al scored his 100th career point. On the very last game, Dillon got his 100th.

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“They were just drawn to hockey,” said their mother, Kim. “They were very competitive and very supportive (of each other). They have been roommates forever. “Even at home.

Oh, you might see Dillon and Al play in the Wellesley Men’s League one night, but the super-serious part of hockey is over. “They had a passion for it,” Kim said.

“We’re having a hard time adjusting,” said John, the boys’ father. “I spoke to Dillon. He said he was bored.

“We’re still hanging out,” the twins agree, “but it’s different; it’s not on the ice.

ONE MORE CHAPTER

Interesting how the expanse of hockey can take a player up many avenues, back up, and then separate. At the end comes one last adventure.

Joe Idelson and Mike Tersoni can attest to that. It all started, for both of them, at the Loring Arena in Framingham, two youngsters simply trying not to maintain a semblance of balance on the ice. By the time they were at the bantam level, they were the cornerstones of a state championship team, with Tersoni scoring on a breakaway in OT to beat a powerful Barnstable team.

Framingham's Mike Tersoni celebrates after scoring a goal in an ice hockey game last winter.

Framingham High hockey was next. Well for Tersoni anyway. Idelson chose to enroll at the Catholic Memorial. Of course, they remained friends. They couldn’t just erase all the memories as teammates.

But their ice cream story doesn’t end there. Last season, Idelson and Tersoni played in the Eastern Hockey League at the junior level, but on opposing teams.

And yes, there is another chapter in their hockey life. Next season, Idelson will play for Suffolk University in Boston while Tersoni will don them for the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine.

Joe Tersoni put his son Mike on skates when he was 4 years old. “I couldn’t get up,” Tersoni said. He stuck with it. When he came to Framingham High as a freshman, the Flyers were a packed team.

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“I’ve played in a few college games, but mostly in JVs,” he said. He had another year left in youth hockey and he was playing there too. The second season found the Flyers in the state tournament. They had a run that took them to TD Garden. “I was overwhelmed. Big crowd, the Jumbotron, bright lights. Got to skate a few shifts. He was 15.

“We struggled in our junior year, but the following year we won the Burlington tournament and reached the Super 8,” said Tersoni, now 21.

Cousins ​​Joel Idelson (left) and Mike Tersoni (right) stand with relative Roy Tiziani after a recent ice hockey game.  Idelson has committed to playing hockey at Suffolk University while Tersoni will play at the University of New England.

Idelson played a dozen seasons of youth hockey. “Mike and I were usually on the same team. We participated in many tournaments together. But when Tersoni arrived at Framingham High, Idelson was off to eternal hockey power and the All Boys Catholic Memorial.

Idelson repeated eighth grade first. “I’ve always wanted to go to a Catholic school, but not just for hockey. His parents signed him, although they both attended Framingham South High. By the middle of Idelson’s CM years, the idea of ​​returning to Framingham High lingered. He stayed at CM. “I toughened him up.”

Idelson returned to a sold-out Loring Arena for a Super 8 match. When he and Johnny Nichols, also from Framingham, were introduced, fans greeted the hometown couple with a bang.

Idelson conceded that “it was funny” to see Tersoni in a different uniform last season. Both better get used to it. They will play in the same Commonwealth Coast conference now.

When the two of them committed to college, Tersoni suddenly realized “Oh, I’m going to play him!”

Then the dominant thought set in. “We are close friends.” They always have been. A jersey is just a jersey.

Lenny Megliola can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @lennymegs.

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