The men’s hockey team will look to improve on a solid 2016-2017 campaign. After holding a record of 14-11- 1 and going 10-4-0 in conference play, the Valiants have confidence coming into this season. The team lost in the first round of the ECAC West Conference Tournament against Hobart last year by a score of 6-2, a defeat that was not taken lightly. The Valiants averaged 3.6 goals per game and converted on their power plays 17.1% of the time, which are both considered respectable numbers. Through the first two games this season, the Valiants hold a record of 1-0-1 with 7 goals scored, despite being 0 for 7 on the power play. After tying Morrisville State College 2-2 at home in their first game of the season, the Valiants defeated Elmira College on the road by a score of 5-3.
The offense was led by sophomore Ryan Jackson, as he scored two goals in the team’s first win of the season. Jackson scored 2 goals all of last season for the Valiants, but did tally 7 assists as well. His 9 points led all freshman last year, and his success from the blue line will hopefully continue. When asked about how he would build on his solid freshman season at Manhattanville, Jackson stated, “I just need to keep doing the small things right and success will come with it. Mistakes will happen if I start to play out of my skill set, but nothing has changed.” The Montreal native has played well to start this season, and his performance through the first two games of the year earned him a spot in the Team of the Week Honors per D3hockey.com.
Junior Jeff Beck was able to put up 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points last year for the Valiants, and he reflected on ways he could improve his game as well.
“For me personally, I’m looking to be more offensive and more creative with the puck, while still playing solid defense and preventing the other team from scoring.” said Beck.
When asked about ways the team could collectively improve, Beck stated, “We have a lot of returning players with the experience needed to progress. Our new freshmen have jumped right into our family and have made us even stronger. Our goal as a team is to win every time we’re on the ice, and when we play to the best of our abilities, we’re a tough team to compete with.” Although the ECAC
West Conference All-Academic Team Award recipient has not cashed in on the scoring sheet thus far, Beck’s work ethic and assiduous dedication will change that shortly.
The men’s hockey team is full of hard-working players who leave everything they have on the ice. Despite losing key seniors, the team still has a winning mentality at the forefront of their agenda. “Last year we lost a couple of great seniors both on the ice and in the locker room, but the culture hasn’t shifted much from that. Our current juniors and seniors have risen to leadership roles and our mentality has stayed the same; we want to win,” stated Jackson. The Valiants next game is Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. against Kings College (PA) before they get set to travel to Wisconsin for a two- game stint against St. Norbert College, located just outside of Green Bay.