Union junior Bodie making most of opportunity to play (with videos)

Kyle Bodie’s first two seasons with Union were frustrating, but the junior center is now the third-l

Kyle Bodie’s first two seasons with Union were frustrating.

Bodie played in 22 games in each of those years, but even though he produced 13 goals and nine assists, he never seemed to get a chance to prove himself to Nate Leaman, who was the Dutchmen coach then.

Leaman’s departure to Providence in April gave Bodie a chance to prove himself to Rick Bennett, the team’s new coach. So far, Bodie is doing a fine job.

The junior center is the third-leading scorer for the ninth-ranked Dutchmen with two goals and seven assists in nine games. Bodie looks to continue his good start as the Dutchmen host Brown tonight at 7 in their ECAC Hockey home opener at Messa Rink. Union (2-0 ECACH, 5-1-3 overall) hosts Yale at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Bennett didn’t mince words with Bodie when the two talked after Bennett took over in late April. He recruited Bodie from the British Columbia Junior League’s Powell River Kings, and knew what he was capable of doing. In 2008-09, Bodie’s last season there, he had 29 goals and 58 assists in 60 games.

“I was pretty blunt,” Bennett said. “I said that you’ve got a fresh start here. Everyone had a fresh start that had some troubles the previous two years. He seemed to respond in a positive way. From a coaching staff perspective, it’s been nice having him at the center position helping us out.”

Bodie attributed two things to his early season success.

“Hard work in the offseason, and coach [Bennett] giving me a chance,” Bodie said. “I took advantage of that early. Confidence is building a bit. Every game I’m out there, we’re doing little things and trying to take care of the ‘D’ zone. The rest is taking care of itself.”

Bodie was frustrated by the lack of playing time under Leaman. He used that as motivation to get better this season.

“At the time, I was pretty bummed about it and wasn’t happy with it,” Bodie said. “Because of it, it might be the reason why I’m off to the start I am.”

Sophomore defenseman Mat Bodie saw the frustration in his brother. He is pleased to see him playing more and producing.

“It’s great for him,” Mat Bodie said. “He’s a great player. He’s really bringing it this year. It’s good for him to get a chance, and that he’s making the most of it.”

Kyle Bodie has played a key role on the special teams. He helps kill penalties, which he did occasionally the past two seasons.

But Bennett has put him on the power play, and Bodie has responded. He is third on the team in power-play points with six (one goal, five assists).

“It’s a lot more than you can ever ask for,” Bodie said. “Being in those situations is what every player wants. When you are put out there, you kind of forget about things and worry about your game. It kind of takes care of itself.”

This weekend’s games are the last ones for the Dutchmen at Messa for the 2011 calendar year. They play their next eight games on the road, starting Tuesday at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Brown (1-1, 2-2) is coming off last Saturday’s 5-4 win over Cornell. Freshman forward Massimo Lamacchia is the Bears’ top goal scorer with three, and he is tied for the team lead in scoring with senior forward Jack Maclellan with four points.

“Watching them on tape, this is a very tough hockey team,” Bennett said. “I’m sure they’re going to be gunning for us. We have to match their intensity, and then some.”

rpi seeks goals

The offensive woes continued for RPI last weekend in the North Country. The Engineers (0-2, 1-8) scored just one goal against Clarkson, and were shut out by St. Lawrence to extend their losing streak to seven games. RPI has been blanked four times already this season.

It won’t get any easier for the Engineers at Houston Field House. They host 13th-ranked Yale (1-1, 2-1-1) in their annual Black Friday jersey game tonight at 7, followed by a matchup with Brown at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s frustrating with the lack of offense,” said RPI coach Seth Appert, who has seen his team score just nine goals in its first nine games. “It’s frustrating when you’re doing some things well.”

Appert sees the players pressing.

“Our best chances aren’t even resulting in scoring chances because we’re gripping the sticks so tight that we shoot it a foot wide on a three-on-two, or we have a wide-open shot from the slot, and we shoot it high by a foot,” Appert said. “In the case of [last] weekend, we missed three wide-open backdoor tap-ins.”

The Engineers will get freshman forward Jacob Laliberte back. La­liberte, who scored 125 goals for the Central Junior Hockey League’s Cornwall Colts the last two seasons, missed the last five games after getting slashed on the right hand late in the Oct. 15 game at Ferris State.

Categories: College Sports

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