EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 18, 2012

Around the Horn with ... Brian Pinho, St. John's Prep hockey


North Andover has produced a slew of top hockey players over the years and St. John's Prep junior Brian Pinho is on pace to be included with those luminaries.

Pinho admitted, "Hockey is my life."

With 18 goals and 26 assists this year, Pinho is a strong candidate for All-Scholastic honors.

Before the Prep was ousted Wednesday in the Super 8 tourney semifinals, Pinho talked about being a quad-captain as a junior and his relationship with record-breaking graduate Colin Blackwell in this Week's Around the Horn.

It must be pretty exciting as you've advance to the Super 8 Final 4? "Definitely. We were there last year. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully we can get back to the Garden."

What's been your favorite personal athletic achievement? "Getting the amount of points I did this year (he finished with 18 goals, 26 assists)."

How did you end up at St. John's? "I was looking at some prep schools. My brother went to Lawrence Academy and then he transferred to St. John's. I went to a few hockey games and liked the atmosphere. My brother's good friends with Colin Blackwell (the ex-Prep great from North Andover). He just told me how much he loved it as a hockey player. I visited the school and it was a great school. It's worked out really well."

What's the story of North Andover's Pino and Pinho families? "We used to be neighbors! They moved a couple years ago. I'm best friends with Nick Pino. He's a junior at North Andover."

Are you hearing from any colleges? "I've heard from a lot. But I'm not focused on that right now. Just hopefully winning the Super 8 then I can look around."

Can you play Division 1? "That's what I hope. I've been dreaming of it since 8-years old. If I get the opportunity, that would be great."

How big are you? "Six-foot, 175 pounds."

North Andover has sent so many great players to the Division 1 ranks like the Heinze brothers, Ed Ronan, Ethan Philpott, the Murphy brothers, Moose Foster, Jayson Philbin, Tristan Lush, Brian Bova, Mark Pandolfo, Bobby Farnham, Steve Mastalerz and Colin Blackwell. You and Malden Catholic's Tyler Sifferlen are now getting Division 1 attention. Why is North Andover such a hockey hotbed? "They've done a real good job developing kids when they are younger, North Andover Youth Hockey. The Valley Junior Warriors with Andy Heinze has developed me the most."

What local kids play for St. John's? "Junior Andrew Brandano of North Reading, junior Mark Azarian of Salem, N.H., sophomore Tyler Bird of Andover, sophomore Evan LeClerc of Methuen and senior Nick Pandelena of Atkinson."

What did it mean to be named quad-captain as a junior? "It was a great privilege. It didn't come easy. I had to work for it. We had a lot of new guys so coach wanted me to help the younger guys."

Are you close with Colin Blackwell? "I talk to him a lot. He was like an older brother to me last year. He took me under his wing."

What's been the lowest point of your career? "Just the adversity of people saying St. John's wouldn't be good because we were losing Colin. But the whole team has stepped up."

How are you doing academically? "I'm an honor roll student, I've made it more than half the terms. Definitely this year I've taken it to the next level so I can get looks by the better colleges."

Do you work? "Hockey is basically my life. In the summer I do max development clinic in Wilmington and play in my backyard."

What's something people don't know about you? "I'm a Taylor Swift fan."

Are you from an athletic family? "My dad (Jim) played lacrosse at Merrimack."

Are you in any other sports or clubs? "Last year I was on JV lacrosse. Hopefully, I'll make varsity."

What's your dream job? "To do what my dad does. He has his own business (Vendor Alliance Capital)."

What is the most embarrassing song you have in your iPod? "'Falling For You' by Colbie Caillat."

If you were named principal, what's the first thing you'd do? "Build a rink on campus."

PINHO'S FAVORITES

Group or singer: Kenny Chesney

Song: "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida

Book: "This Boy's Life" by Tobias Wolff

Website: NHL.com, definitely

Actor/actress: Adam Sandler

Movie: "Step Brothers"

TV show: "CSI Miami"

Athlete: Sidney Crosby

Food: Chicken parm

Car: Black Porsche

Restaurant: Trattoria Amalfi in Salem

Course in school: History with Miss (Stacy) Keenan