By Dan Greene
This past Monday was a big day for Union’s men’s hockey team. Not only was it Media Day, but two major pre-season national polls were also released. The first, and probably the most important, poll to come out was the United States College Hockey Online poll, where the Dutchmen were picked to finish 19th out of 58 teams. Last season Union finished 16th in this poll. The other poll that came out was the Inside College Hockey poll that placed Union at #12, above every other ECAC team except Yale. This is the first time in program history that the Dutchmen have received national recognition in the pre-season polls.
Joining the defensive corps are Mike Ingoldsby and Mat Bodie, the younger brother of sophomore forward Kyle Bodie. Ingoldsby is considered to be a more rugged defenseman, while the younger Bodie is seen as a puck-moving offensive defenseman. Expect both to see major ice time this season.
The major question for the Dutchmen this season is who is going to replace Mario Valery-Trabucco ‘10 and Jason Walters ‘10, both of whom are considered to be two of the greatest players to wear a Union uniform. To be honest, no one on the roster can replace these superstars. But this is where Union’s depth comes into play.
The top returning scorer is senior assistant captain Adam Presizniuk, who has been a major offensive force since he arrived in Schenectady. While he will be looked to be the star of the team, he will get plenty of help from his fellow forwards. The Dutchmen return two 10 goal scorers in Kelly Zajac ‘12 and Jeremy Welsh ‘13, and 21-point scorers Stephane Boileau ‘11 and John Simpson ‘11. But, the list of high-quality forwards doesn’t stop there. Also looking to make an impact are Wayne Simpson ‘13 (18 points), assistant captain Andrew Buote ‘11 (12 points), and players that emerged as impact players late last season like Kyle Bodie ‘13 (11 points) and Luke Cain ‘11 (11 points). Junior Brian Yanovitch should also see a lot of ice this season.
The forwards of the Class of 2014 look very promising as Head Coach Nate Leaman brought in some great scorers and skaters. These student athletes include Daniel Carr, speedster Matt Hatch, two-way forward Cole Ikkala, Josh Jooris, and Kevin Sullivan, who Coach Leaman thinks might be the sleeper of the group. All six of these forwards have the ability to score some goals, and will all the get an opportunity to do so this season.
Union looks to make the next step this season after making their first ECAC Final Four in program history last season. Their goal this season will be to win the ECAC tournament and receive a berth to the NCAA tournament.
The season begins this weekend as the Dutchmen host Sacred Heart for a weekend series at Messa Rink. Both games will begin at 7 p.m.