Rodney MacArthur woke up to a pleasant surprise to begin his May 24.
He received an email containing the 2022-23 schedule for the Union College
men’s hockey team.
The prospect of venturing down to Schenectady, New York, this autumn to
watch his youngest son Colby’s freshman NCAA season fills the hockey dad
“It will be a great step as this is a level in the game he has never
played,” says Rodney. “Colby thinks he is up to the challenge, and so do
we. We’re so excited, and we plan on taking trips to New York to support
Conversations between Rodney and Colby about the latter’s new, exciting
chapter of his hockey career will undoubtedly take place in the days to
Right now, the 20-year-old’s sole focus is helping the Summerside Western
Capitals to national glory at the 2022 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim
Hortons, in Estevan, Sask.
“I’m not looking past the two weeks of this competition,” says Colby, who
led the Maritime Hockey League (MHL) with 57 assists and 75 points during
the regular season. “We are at nationals to win it. My family is here to
support me, and all the conversations are about hockey and how I’m
Colby’s preliminary-round performance indicates the attitude of
laser-focused intensity is translating to the ice on the big stage. He
registered two goals and four assists for a team-leading six points in four
games and was named the tournament’s most sportsmanlike player. His
overtime goal in a 4-3 decision over the Ottawa Jr. Senators on Wednesday
afternoon vaulted his squad into a quarterfinal showdown against Collège
Français de Longueuil.
One of the driving forces fueling the young man’s point-producing prowess
and clutch-play performances is confidence that hockey excellence is in the
MacArthur family DNA.
Rodney and older brother Brodie, 23, attained one and two league scoring
titles, respectively, during their Junior A careers on P.E.I. Rodney, now
the principal of Queen Elizabeth Elementary School in Kensington, captured
the Island Junior Hockey League (IJHL) points crown in 1988-89 with the
Charlottetown Abbies. Suiting up for Summerside, Brodie won the MHL scoring
race in 2018-19 (110 points) and 2019-20 (108 points). His 357 career
points in 196 games are the most in league history.
Brodie, playing for the University of Prince Edward Island since 2020, has
a pass-first mentality like his younger brother – 215 of his points for the
Western Capitals were assists.
Supporting Colby from home in P.E.I during the Centennial Cup, Brodie
shares how Rodney instilled within his sons a desire to play unselfish,
“He coached us both growing up and whenever there were games when the score
was out of hand, he would ask us to complete three passes before attempting
to score. That is where that pass-first play really first started.”
Colby says he appreciates Rodney’s commitment to help he and Colby elevate
their craft, which was on display from their earliest backyard rink days.
“He put us through drills that I don’t think many kids would have been
doing at four or five years old like triangle stickhandling and using
angles and boards as a playmaker. He wanted the best for us. I could not
have asked for a better father.”
Like individual accolades, team championships evidently magnetize towards
the MacArthur brothers, too. Colby has won nine straight league titles
dating back to his U11 days, and Brodie accrued a slew of championships,
including first place at the 2012 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey
Sibling backyard rink battles nurtured Colby and Brodie’s tenacity.
“He’s the reason I am so competitive,” says Colby. “Even when I was younger
and five inches shorter, he would still hit me as hard as he could when we
battled in the corner. We pushed each other to be stronger.”
Now, in adulthood, Colby has the height advantage at 6-foot-3, three inches
taller than Brodie and bigger than Rodney, too. He has capitalized on his
towering frame to play a more physical brand of hockey than his father and
Rodney is proud of the player Colby has become.
“I would say he was a better skater, smoother than I was. And I would say
he was a better all-around player too. He is great at both ends and is
strong on faceoffs.”
Brodie says his brother’s trajectory as a player continues to trend upward.
“Every year he plays he gets better. He’s always had good hockey skill,
vision, a desire to win and the ability to work hard. He has improved on
his shot, speed and overall game. I expect him to keep going that way.”
Under the guidance of head coach Billy McGuigan, who was Brodie’s coach and
the stick boy for Rodney’s Abbies, Colby will attempt to become a MacArthur
pioneer. He would become the first member of his family to win Canada’s
National Junior A Championship.
He has the support of Rodney, Brodie, mother Kim and older sister Brooke as
he pursues this feat.