Boston College hockey and Clifton Park native Patch Alber isn’t being called a “walk-on” defenseman anymore.
He is now a scholarship player. The 22-year-old Alber was awarded an athletic scholarship by BC coach Jerry York.
“It’s definitely a good feeling,” said Alber, a junior defenseman. “It’s something exciting, personally, for me. But I can’t take it for granted. I’ve just got to keep working hard. . . . I thought about my parents and how much that was going to help them out. I was just overjoyed.”
When he arrived at BC after playing for the Eastern Junior Hockey League’s Boston Junior Bruins, it did not appear that Alber was going to fit into York’s plans. Alber was happy to be on the team, but a scholarship was the furthest thing from his mind.
“I always wanted to keep working hard, and just try my hardest and try and get ice time,” Alber said. “I don’t think I ever could have imagined the way all this was going to work out.”
When he got the chance to play, Alber made the most of his opportunities. He scored his first collegiate goal in the 2010 NCAA tournament Frozen Four semifinals in a 7-1 triumph over Miami (Ohio), and was on the ice for the Eagles’ 5-0 championship-game victory over Wisconsin.
“He was kind of a tweener,” York said. “When he got to school, I didn’t project him as being more than a depth player. He could help in some areas.”
Alber played in 34 games last season, and had two goals and seven assists.
“He earned himself playing time,” York said. “He got better and better. We’re fortunate he decided to come to BC.”
Alber also had a number change. After wearing No. 27 for his first two seasons, York gave Alber No. 3.
The No. 3 is a very significant number in BC hockey history. Defenseman Mike Mottau won the 2000 Hobey Baker Award wearing that number. No one had worn that number since until Alber stepped on the ice with it at the Ice Breaker Tournament two weeks ago.
“It’s definitely an honor,” Alber said. “Apparently, [York] wanted the number back in circulation. I feel pretty blessed to wear that number that has so much meaning here.”
Alber and his Eagles is off to a good start this season, opening with three wins in their first four games. He had a goal and an assist in the two games in the Ice Breaker, which BC won the title. Alber was named to the all-tournament team.
BC was No. 1 in last week’s USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. A 4-2 loss to Denver last Friday, followed by a 5-1 win at New Hampshire the next night produced mixed results for BC in this week’s polls. The Eagles dropped to second in the USCHO poll, but they remained on top in the USA Today poll.
MAYOTTE TO CORNELL
Former Union College goalie Kris Mayotte has joined the Cornell coaching staff as the Big Red’s volunteer assistant coach. He will serve as the goalie coach.
“I think that we’ve had a tremendous amount of success with our coaches here helping our goaltenders develop,” Cornell head coach Mike Schafer said in a statement. “I think with Kris, it gives them one extra person to pay specific attention to them, which we haven’t had in a while. I think it will help in development, but it will also give them a chance to air out some of their issues that they might have, or they can discuss different things that he can relate to since he’s played the position.”
Mayotte was a full-time goalie coach last season in Maryland, having spent the previous seven years of his playing career as a part-time instructor. Some of his clients are Michael Clemente (Brown) and Dan Sullivan (Maine), and future NCAA goalies Jay Williams (Miami, Ohio) and Nick Ellis (Providence).
Mayotte played for the Dutchmen from 2002-06. He had a 46-52-13 record with a 2.69 goals-against average. Mayotte was named to the 2002-03 ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team and was on the second team All-ECACH.
COBURN AN UNCLE
Union defenseman Greg Coburn recently became an uncle.
Coburn’s brother is Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn. His wife Nadine recently gave birth to the couple’s first child, a daughter.
“It’s pretty exciting for them,” Coburn said. “It’s good to be an uncle.”
Not a bad debut for new Providence coach Nate Leaman.
The former Dutchmen head coach guided the Friars to a stunning 5-3 win over eighth-ranked Boston University on Friday. Leaman improved to 2-0 the next night as Providence downed Massachusetts, 6-4.
Leaman won his first four games when he became Union’s head coach in 2003.
Up next for Leaman, a rematch with the team that ended Union’s season in the NCAA tournament East Regional last March. Defending NCAA-champion Minnesota Duluth comes to Providence for two games this weekend.
ROUGH TIME FOR SAINTS
It’s looking like it could be a very long season for St. Lawrence.
After the Saints were swept by Ferris State in a two-game series at Appleton Arena Oct. 7-8 in their season-opening contests, they lost their next two games in different, yet very painful fashion.
On Thursday, after jumping out to an early 1-0 lead at Michigan, the Saints were crushed, 10-3, by the Wolverines. Then on Saturday against Rochester Institute of Technology at Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena, the Saints were nine seconds away from a one-goal win when the Tigers’ Adam Hartley scored to tie the game, 5-5, sending it into overtime.
The OT lasted 14 seconds. Adam Mitchell sent the sellout crowd of 10,556 into a frenzy when he scored to give RIT a 6-5 victory.
The Saints are off for two weeks. They return to action Nov. 4 when they host Union in the ECACH opener for both teams.
New Hampshire senior forward Mike Borisenok (Watervliet) had an assist on the Wildcats’ only goal in last Saturday’s loss to Boston College. It was the first goal UNH had scored this season after being shut out in its first two games.
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Categories: College Sports