The Hobart College hockey team will begin its quest to defend its ECAC West title with its first game of the 2012-13 season on Friday, Oct. 26. The Statesmen, who are ranked No. 7 in the nation in the D3hockey.com preseason poll, take on Salve Regina at 7 p.m. at The Cooler, and then host Cortland at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Hobart was a near unanimous choice as the top team in the ECAC West preseason poll. The Statesmen were voted first on all but one ballot. Hobart returns all but two players from the 2011-12 team that finished the season ranked No. 9 in the D3hockey.com Poll, No. 13 in the USCHO.com Poll and No. 8 in the NCAA East Region rankings. Hobart Head Coach Mark Taylor will begin his 13th season at the helm of the program with a record of 175-116-30.
Here is a position by position look at the 2012-13 Statesmen:
The Statesmen return their entire defensive unit that finished last season on top of the ECAC West in scoring defense (2.59 g/gm) and ranked second in penalty kills (86.8 percent).
Senior Brad Richard begins his second season as a team captain. The ECAC West All-USHCHO.com first team and All-ECAC West second team honoree played in all 27 games last year. He recorded 11 goals and 11 assists. Senior Harry Radovich, Ryan Corcoran and Mike White bring experience and leadership to the D. Corcoran, an assistant captain this season, notched three goals and 10 assists in 23 games last winter, while Radovich tallied two goals and 10 assists in 26 games. White chipped in two goals and eight assists in 25 contests.
Hobart also welcomes back a strong group of sophomore defensemen. Terrence O’Neill was tabbed the ECAC West Co-Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the league’s all-rookie team. He finished last season tied for 10th in the conference in defenseman scoring with two goals and 10 assists. Classmate Bronson Kovacs garnered ECAC West All-USCHO.com All-Rookie Team honors, and ranked sixth in the ECAC West in first-year scoring with five goals and five assists. Sophomores Ian Coleman (2-8-10), Ryan Michel (3-11-14), Peter Ryan (2-5-7) and Mike Malady (1-1-2) are all key members of the returning defensive core for Hobart.
Hobart returns 12 forwards including their top scorer from last winter, and the Statesmen have brought in a good group of new players who will be fighting to make an impact.
All-USCHO.com second team honoree and All-ECAC West honorable mention selection, senior Frank Salituro will serve as a captain this season. Last year, he led Hobart with 26 points on 11 goals and a team-high 15 assists in all 27 games. He finished the year tied for eighth in the ECAC West in points, tied for ninth in goals, and tied for 12th in assists. Salituro was also tied for first in the conference in power-play points. Sophomore Tommaso Traversa will also return after an outstanding rookie season. He was tabbed the ECAC West All-USCHO.com Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on both the USCHO.com and All-ECAC West Rookie teams. He logged 20 points on 10 goals and 10 assists, and finished the year tied for first in the conference in first-year scoring.
Seniors Cam Miller, Bobby Hannah and Dave Stevens are proven offensive contributors. Miller and Hannah will serve as assistant captains this season. Hannah posted seven goals and four assists in 26 games. Miller battled an injury at the end of last season, but played in 11 games, notching a goal and four assists. Stevens played in 24 games and recorded five goals and 10 assists.
Juniors Tommy Fiorentino, Tom Rush, Brett Riley, and Keith Clarke provide depth and reliability at forward. Fiorentino contributed seven goals and seven assists in 24 games, and Clarke notched a goal and five assists in 17 games. Rush played in 12 games (2-1-3), while Riley saw time in eight (1-0-1).
Sophomores Peter Quigley (3-2-5) and Brendan Fitzgerald (1-2-3) will look to build on their rookie seasons. The Statesmen bring in first-year forwards, Ben Gamache, Mac Olson, Alex Quinn and Bo Webster who have the ability to be immediate contributors. They are top players from their respective high-end junior hockey teams. In addition, Hobart has three sophomore transfers. Brad McBride comes to Geneva from Air Force, Sean Rudy is from Bemidhi State and Robert Sovick hails from Prague, Czech Republic.
The goaltending tandem of seniors Nick Broadwater and Marty Ausserhofer will once again play a major role in Hobart’s success this season. Broadwater played in 12 games last year, as he battled through an injury midway through the season. He recorded a 2.69 goals against average and finished atop the ECAC West with a .914 save percentage, notching three shutouts. Ausserhofer stepped up to log a 10-5-1 record in goal last year. He ranked first in the league with a 2.34 goals against average and second with a .911 save percentage. Ausserhofer garnered All-USCHO.com first team honors for his efforts.
First-year goalie Lino Chimienti joins Hobart this year. Despite the fact that the Statesmen have two proven senior goalies, Chimienti boasts a strong hockey resume and expectations are high for him going forward.
After taking on Salve Regina and Cortland in its opening weekend, Hobart will host Manhattanville, who is receiving votes in the D3hockey.com preseason poll, for ECAC West games on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. The Statesmen will then play four straight road games. The Hobart schedule also features games against two teams ranked in the preseason top 15. The Statesmen will host No. 2 Oswego State on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m., and play No. 10 Elmira three times during the season. Hobart will take on four other teams receiving votes in the preseason poll, Neumann, Utica, Buffalo State and Geneseo State.