College hockey notebook: Union’s Jooris gets back into the flow (with video)

Sophomore forward Josh Jooris has been struggling to contribute to the Union offense this season. Th

Sophomore forward Josh Jooris has been struggling to contribute to the Union offense this season.

And it didn’t get much better for him when he got hurt against Denver on Dec. 30. Diagnosed with an upper-body injury, Jooris was out of the next night’s game at Col­orado College, the first one he had missed in his Union career.

Jooris wasn’t expected to play last Friday against Harvard, either. But he was there, and he assisted on two goals in the 3-3 tie. He went one better Saturday against Dartmouth, picking up three assists as the Dutchmen routed the Big Green, 7-1.

The five-point weekend was the best for Jooris this season. The five assists equalled the total number of assists he had in his first 18 games.

“It was good to help,” said Jooris, who has two goals and 12 points this season. “It’s just good to produce for the team. The points haven’t been coming as much as they did last year. But it definitely felt good to get those under me.

“I’ve been trying to stay positive the whole year. Just as long as the team’s producing and winning, I’m happy with that.”

Jooris opened his college career in style last season, scoring a hat trick in his first game and adding an assist in a 9-0 win over Sacred Heart on Oct. 8, 2010. He finished the season with nine goals and 23 assists.

Union coach Rick Bennett believes Jooris was trying to do too much, and forcing plays that weren’t there.

“Less is more. Less stickhandling,” Bennett said. “Last weekend, he seemed to be making the plays that were there. He wasn’t overthinking. He just made those plays because he has tremendous hockey instincts. If he goes with his first gut reaction, that is when he is the best.”

Four of his five assists were the primary helpers, meaning he had the final pass that led to the goal. The most impressive one came on Daniel Carr’s power-play goal against Harvard late in the second period. After getting a pass from Mat Bodie, Jooris led a two-on-one rush into the Crimson zone. It looked like Jooris had a chance to shoot, but he knew he had Carr on his right. Jooris slid the puck to Carr, who fired it into the net.

“You’ve just got to stay positive,” Jooris said. “I know the coaches were sticking with me, keeping me positive. They were giving me the ice time. It’s nice to pay them back a bit.”

Even though an injury kept him out of the Colorado College game, Jooris looks back at that as a blessing.

“I was fortunate that I got to see the game from above and rethink my game,” Jooris said. “I think that definitely helped me. It gave me confidence coming into the new year, and kind of gave me a fresh start. I took advantage [of it].”

Hynes commits to Union

Another Albany Academy player will be coming to Union College for the 2013-14 season.

Cadets right wing Tyler Hynes will join the Dutchmen. The senior from Guilderland has 16 goals and 14 assists this season. U.S. Hockey report describes Hynes as “not the smoothest player around, but he’s on the ice constantly and is one of those types who’s just hungry to get the puck — and create offense.”

Hynes is expected to play a year in junior hockey, either in the U.S. Hockey League or the British Col­umbia Junior Hockey League before coming to Union.

USHR reported Hynes chose Union over Army, Connecticut and Providence, where ex-Union coach Nate Leaman heads the progam.

The other Albany Academy player coming to Union in

2013-14 is defenseman Jeff Taylor, who committed to the Dutchmen last spring. He is also expected to play a year of junior hockey.

When Hynes and Taylor arrive in 2013-14, it will give Union three Capital Region players, joining goalie and Niskayuna’s Colin Stevens, who will be a junior then.

Union received another commitment, this one for next season. Tim Boyle, a defenseman for Noble & Greenough, will be joining the Dutchmen.

Boyle is 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds. He has three goals and seven assists in 11 games this season. His team played Milton Academy at Fenway Park last Wednesday, and he scored a goal.

Boyle is the younger brother of New York Rangers forward Brian Boyle, who played college hockey at Boston College.

DeVito to RPI

Jimmy DeVito, a forward for the U.S. Hockey League’s Chicago Steel, has committed to Rens­selaer Polytechnic Institute for next season.

The 5-foot-11 DeVito has three goals and 10 assists in 28 games this season. In 45 games last year, he had two goals and five assists.

“RPI offered me just before Christmas,” DeVito said on the Steel’s website. “I took a visit to the campus about a month ago, and really liked the facilities and the coaching staff. I am thinking about majoring in business right now, and they have a very good business school.

“My family was happy for me when I committed and will be making trips out to New York to watch me play. My dad really liked RPI, as well, and was impressed with its coaching staff.”

Vote for Hobey

The first phase of the fans’ vote for the Hobey Baker Award is under way, and three Union players — centers Kelly Zajac and Jeremy Welsh, and goalie Troy Grosenick — are among the 77 players nom­inated.

A total of 13 ECAC Hockey players are on the list. Besides the Union trio, the ECACH is represented by Brown forward Jack Maclellan, Clarkson goalie Paul Karpowich, Colgate forward Austin Smith, defenseman Nick D’Agostino, goalie Andy Iles and forward Greg Miller of Cornell, defenseman Danny Biega and forward Alex Killorn of Harvard, St. Lawrence forward Kyle Flanagan and Yale forward Brian O’Neill.

The first phase of fan balloting runs through March 4. Phase two, which will have the top 10 finalists, begins March 16. The fans’ vote accounts for 1 percent of the total ballot in each phase in selecting this year’s award recipient.

To vote, visit hobeybakeraward.-com, Click on the Vote for Hobey Baker icon and follow the prompts to make your selection.

Smith hits 20

Colgate’s Smith became the first player this season to reach the 20-goal mark. He got the goal early in the second period of the Raiders’ 3-1 loss to Ferris State last Saturday.

Smith, a senior, has 20 goals and 13 assists in 20 games this season. Last year in 41 games, Smith had 10 goals and 21 assists.

Categories: College Sports

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