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Union hockey teams fills needs at forward

Union hockey teams fills needs at forward

Union men’s hockey coach Nate Leaman believes he has found quality players to replace three of the D

Union men’s hockey coach Nate Leaman believes he has found quality players to replace three of the Dutchmen’s top scorers last season.

The Dutchmen will have eight recruits joining the team for the 2010-11 season, it was announced Friday. And among them are some talented offensive players who should help replace senior forwards Mario Valery-Trabucco and Jason Walters, and defenseman Mike Schreiber. The trio combined for 47 goals and 67 assists in helping the Dutchmen reach the ECAC Hockey tournament championship game last season.

They are three of eight Dutchmen who will be graduating in a couple of weeks.

“We graduated five [forwards],” said Leaman, the ECACH Coach of the Year. “We understood we have to fill some voids in that area with the forwards that we graduated. And we graduated two pretty good senior defensemen.”

Two of the five forwards coming in led their leagues in scoring.

Josh Jooris of the Burlington Cougars was the scoring champion of the Central Canadian Hockey League with 26 goals and 90 assists in 50 games. Jooris also had a plus/minus defensive rating of plus-60. He is the son of former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute forward Mark Jooris, who was on the Engineers’ 1985 national championship team.

“Josh has very good vision and is a real good playmaker,” Leaman said. “What I like best about him is he is a good team player, as well. He’s a competitive kid. He wants to play a team game. We look for him to make an impact.”

Kevin Sullivan of the Berkshire School was the top scorer in the New England Prep League with 21 goals and 45 assists. He was a first-team All-New England, won the team’s most valuable player award and was the team captain.

“Sully has a good skill level, and he has a tremendous work ethic,” Leaman said. “He’s a guy that our staff watched for two years, and is a player that makes guys around him better.”

Defenseman Mat Bodie, the brother of Dutchmen freshman forward Kyle Bodie, was the top defensive scorer on the British Columbia Junior Hockey League’s Powell River Kings with eight goals and 34 assists. He picked up his play in the playoffs, leading all scorers with nine goals and 22 assists as the River Kings reached the BCJHL finals, losing to the Vernon Vipers.

“Mat is a player,” Leaman said. “He’s coming in, and he’s probably going to be a little slight of weight, but he’s got a tremendous stick and tremendous vision. He played all kinds of minutes in junior hockey.”

Mat Bodie’s teammate, forward Daniel Carr, is also coming to Union. Carr, who was acquired in a late-season trade with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s St. Albert Steel, had 10 goals and 17 assists in 22 games with the River Kings. He was the third-leading scorer in the playoffs with 26 points, and was the top goal scorer with 15. He was the AJHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2008.

Cole Ikkala, who battled Bodie and Carr in the BCJHL finals, will become teammates with them at Union. Ikkala had 22 goals and 23 assists last season.

Rounding out the forwards is another player from the BCJHL. Matt Hatch had 21 goals and 34 assists for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, who won the league’s Coastal Conference regular-season title.

One other defenseman coming to Union to replace Mike Wakita is Mike Ingoldsby of the Ontario Junior “A” Hockey League-champion Oakville Blades. Ingoldsby, who was the Blades’ captain, had three goals and 25 assists.

One goalie is coming in.

Troy Grosenick posted a 26-14-2 record with a 2.63 goals-against average for the Cedar Rapid Rough Riders of the U.S. Hockey League. Grosenick also had four shutouts and a .902 save percentage.

“Troy’s going to compete for it,” Leaman said. “He’s got a good pedigree. He played in a very good league. He’s got great size, and great athletic ability. We feel that sometime in his career, Troy projects to be a No. 1 [goalie].”

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