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Former Aggie succeeding on the ice in Germany

By Tristan Paradise
Dec. 1, 2016

Former Utah State University hockey player Brian Gibbons has notched eight goals since joining Germany’s EC Hannover Indians. But his most exciting contribution to his new team might have come last month — an 18th minute assist that put his side up 2-0 against the Hannover Scorpions in the iciest rivalry in Lower Saxony, the Hannover Derby.

The assist, and the game in which it was played, is a memory Gibbons will always remember.

"The rivalry is pure hatred for the other team," Gibbons said of the game, which was played in front of 4,608 fans on Nov 12. "It was an unbelievable experience."

It’s also an experience Gibbons had at one time doubted he’d ever have.

When he transferred to Utah State from Div. III Utica College in New York, Gibbons said, he figured his professional dreams were done. University club programs don’t generally produce many pros.

"I thought since it was club hockey, my professional dream was over," he said.

But Utah State head coach Jon Eccles knew there was something special about Gibbons.

"What separates him from most players is his focus, his determination to be the very best he can be for the team," Eccles said. "He does everything he can, whether it be in the offseason or during the season to keep him at the peak of his performance."

Gibbons knew that to make it to the next level he would have to work as hard as he possibly could.

"I've always had the mentality if you're going to do something worth doing, then it's worth overdoing," Gibbons said. "So I just kept playing the only way I knew how."

Gibbons' determination led to him to Hannover after a three-year stay with EHC Neuwied.

Eccles wouldn't be surprised if Gibbons' play leads to some opportunities back in the United States.

"I think that he can still get even higher," Eccles said. "If there's an ever an opportunity, and he gets a chance, I think he'll make the most of that chance."