Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Pioneers goalie scores on key goal

Marc Cheverie

Marc Cheverie, who graduates on June 5, leaves DU as one of the hockey program's all-time greats.

Hockey goalies hate goals — with a passion. But there’s one goal Marc Cheverie has embraced and couldn’t be happier he let in … to his life — earning his bachelor’s degree.

Cheverie, one of the best players to ever stand watch in front of the net for the University of Denver’s hockey team, will graduate June 5 with a degree in finance — a goal he refused to put on ice.

“It’s always been important for me to get my education, especially in case something happened to me and I couldn’t play hockey,” he says. “It would be stupid not to. It’s a win-win situation. Hockey only lasts a few years so you have you have a lot of life left after that. There’s so much more to life than just hockey.”

And even after hockey, Cheverie says he plans to earn a master’s degree or go to law school. He may start that extra education as soon as this summer.

“I’m looking at summer school; we’ll see if I can fit it in,” Cheverie says.

Cheverie, who leaves DU as all-time leader in career save percentage with a mark of .926, admits that at times it was tempting to leave school for the pros, and he gave it some thought.

“Given the circumstances and my age, I could only get a one-year contract so I really felt like this is the best time [after graduating] to go. I loved it here, I was treated like gold.”

He says education has always been important in his family and that his dad, a physician, often stressed the importance of school.

“It was always a topic of conversation around our home, and all my friends talked about it, too.”

But Cheverie confesses the journey was mostly uphill.

“It was hard to juggle it all,” he says. “I think there’s a misconception that we [student-athletes] have it easy, but it’s hard to get your work done and manage your time; you have to pick and choose your priorities. I’m really kind of amazed how well or team does in school given how much time we spend on the ice.”

Cheverie says he spent about 20 hours a week on hockey during his time at DU.

DU coach George Gwozdecky says Cheverie’s focus, dedication and commitment to his academics, his game and his team made him “one of the finest leaders” he’s ever coached.

“Since the day he arrived on campus, Marc approached his life as a Pioneer student-athlete in a very serious and professional manner,” Gwozdecky says. “There’s no doubt that throughout the 2009–10 hockey season Marc was the best goaltender in the nation.”

Cheverie is celebrating another goal, too: To play in the pros. Earlier this spring, the Florida Panthers signed him to a two-year contract.

“It feels good,” Cheverie says. “It’s been a dream for as long as I can remember to play in the NHL, and it’s definitely one of my biggest accomplishments. It’s fulfilling, and now all the work seems worth it,” Cheverie says.

And the lesson Cheverie takes away from it all?

“It makes me realize that hard work does pay off.”

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