By Chris Allen
After a disappointing finish in the 2012-2013 season, the Dutchmen look forward to returning to the ice versus Bowling Green on Oct. 11.
Though they lost against Quinnipiac in the NCAA regionals, the team had quite a few accomplishments last year.
They were able to dominate against perennial power-house Boston College in the NCAA tournament, win the ECAC championship versus Brown, had three players make the All-League team and saw two players sign with NHL teams.
Captain Mat Bodie ‘14 said, “Last year’s graduating class has been a part of every championship that Union has won at the Division I level, and obviously Troy [Grosenick ‘14] and [Josh] Jooris [‘14] played big roles for us as well.”
He continued, “We’ve got some returning players that have made big strides over the offseason and the freshmen have impressed to this point as well,”
This season, the Dutchmen are ranked 16th in the USCHO preseason ranking, and fourth in the ECAC coaches’ preseason poll. Shayne Gostisbehere ‘15 was a preseason coaches’ and media pick for the ECAC Hockey All-League team. Bodie was picked as an ECAC Hockey Media Association All-League.
Cole Ikkala ‘14, Daniel Carr ‘14 and Bodie will captain the Dutchmen this season as the team sets to out-do last year’s accomplishments.
This year’s team features nine strong and eager first-years, Alex Sakellaropoulos, Jeff Taylor, Alex Gonye, Matt Krug, Michael Pontarelli, Eli Lichtenwald, Griffyn Martin, Mike Vecchione and Noah Henry.
There have been some major changes to non-ECAC conferences this year, with the addition of the Big Ten and NCHC leages.
Teams moved into these divisions from the CCHA and WCHA conferences, respectively. Additionally, Notre Dame joined Hockey East, and Penn State ended its time as an independent school by joining the Big Ten.
These changes don’t affect the Dutchmen directly at this time, but we could see some interesting scenarios when it comes time for the NCAA tournament.
The Dutchmen’s first opponent, Bowling Green, was a part of the conference shake-up as well, since they were originally in the CCHA but have moved to the WCHA.
Bowling Green should prove to be a good opening test for the Dutchmen, because the Falcons are coming off a one-sided performance against Wilfrid Laurier.
The Falcons outshot Wilfrid Laurier 46-9 and won by a score of 7-1.
I predict Friday’s game ending with a 4-2 win for Union as well as a 3-1 win on Saturday, as a special treat for the parents and alumni in attendance.
Go support Dutchmen hockey this weekend at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday in Messa Rink.