YCH Interview Series
Daniel Bellissimo Interview

Daniel Bellissimo

Goaltender

1. What year's were you at WMU?

I played for Western Michigan University in the CCHA for 3 years from 2004-2007.

2.What was the most challenging part of the recruiting process for you?

The recruiting process was pretty simple for me. My older brother, Vince Bellissimo, was a current player for WMU while they were recruiting me. I had interest from a couple of other schools but I knew WMU was where I wanted to go. It is a great school academically, it has great facilities and the fan support is unbelievable.

3. Who did you lean on for advice and support through the recruiting process?

Since my brother was a current WMU player he was able to pass his experiences on to me. Any questions I had he was able to answer. I basically knew everything there was to know before I even arrived at WMU.

4. What was most important to you when making the decision to play at WMU?

The most important thing for me when i decided to go to WMU was the fact that I was going to have a chance to step in and play a lot in my freshman year. I ended up starting 35 games in my freshman year. That was great for me and my development considering many goalies don't get a chance to play that much in their freshman season.

5.Daniel Bellissimo, what is your best memory from playing college hockey?

My best memory from playing College hockey was definitely the atmosphere during games. The fan support in the CCHA is great. The student sections get pretty loud especially at our home rink Lawson Ice Arena. I feel we had the loudest rink in the conference. 2 or 3 times a season we had blackout games where all of our fans would wear black. Those games definitely stick out in my mind.

6. What advice would you give a junior or prep player who wants to play in the NCAA?

Some advice I would pass on to someone who wants to play in the NCAA is to savor every moment because the time goes bye so quickly. I would also let them know that during the whole experience there are many ups and downs. It is important to be very patient and stay level headed when things get tough. This is something I feel I could have done better.

7. How do you feel playing hockey in the NCAA prepared you for pro hockey?

Being on the ice everyday and competing everyday in practice helped me improve my game and taught me the importance of consistency. You are pushed to come to the rink everyday and bring your "A" game because there was other guys trying to take your spot.

8. How do you feel about the BIG 10 conference, National Collegiate Hockey Conference, and the exodus from the CCHA?

I'm not too sure how I feel about the BIG 10 conference. I think it could be a good thing in attracting more fans but I also feel its a shame to break up 2 conferences with a lot of history (CCHA and WCHA). This also leaves WMU trying to find another conference. I think it is a great school and belongs in a top hockey conference. I hope things will work out for the program and they find a home in a top conference.

9. How did you get your chance to play hockey in Europe?

Something that really helped me get a spot in Europe was the fact that I had an Italian passport. I was able to join a team who was rebuilding and looking for good young North Americans with a Passport.

10. Your brother, Vince, played hockey in Europe. Where did he play before pro hockey?

My brother, Vince Bellissimo, also played at WMU.

11. What do you do in the summer when you return home from playing hockey?

It gets tough being away from home so during the off-season I return and spend time with my family and friends. I also have to use the summer to improve my game. I make sure I stay on the ice and workout off-ice.


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