Saturday Sports: SLU Hockey prepares for season ahead
CANTON, New York (WWNY) - Believe it or not, the 2021-22 college hockey season opens in less than 2 months for the Skating Saints of St. Lawrence.
For Coach Brent Brekke’s squad, the first month of the season will be a test for the defending ECAC Tournament champions.
The Saints will be road warriors in the early part of the 2021-22 season, playing their first 7 games of the season on the road, 5 of those non-conference contests.
It’s a good early season test for Coach Brent Brekke’s Saints squad, beginning with a 2 game series against Kris Mayotte’s Colorado College team.
”Some St. Lawrence ties there and he’s a good coach, a really good coach. He’ll turn things around quickly there, so it’s gonna be a great test to start with a long road trip. Then we’re actually on the road for the first month. We play at R.I.T at Blue Cross Arena for one game. Then we’ve got a long bus trip to Lake Superior State so we’re hoping the borders are open so we can go through Ontario. If not, it’s going to be a lengthier trip,” said Brekke.
Brekke has a talented group of freshmen coming in this season, adding 9 forwards and 9 defensemen to a roster that also returns a number of key players, giving the Saints a nice mix veterans and youth heading into the 2021-22 campaign.
”It’s an exciting group. There’s some offense there that we’re really looking at adding. We got some pieces on the back end I think that will be adding some elements coming out of our zone on the breakout but also involved offensively in the line rush, in the offensive blue line and the o-zone. Then some good players up front, too, with a lot of different skill sets that should add some offensive punch and you need to continue to focus and grow,” said Brekke.
The Saints enter the season defending ECAC Tournament Champions and Brekke says having the opportunity to win back to back championships is something that’s exciting for both him and his players.
”You know, we’re gonna be young, but I’m excited with the guys we have coming in and the guys we have returning. So I think there’s a good mix of talent there. You have some guys that have gotten some experience coming out of that championship last year and that goes a long ways. When you have that type of run and the guys feel confident, know what it takes and find out what it takes really to dig down and win a championship. It’s something that’s meaningful and goes a long way in giving you some momentum into the next season,” said Brekke.
With the ECAC back at full strength after a majority of teams sat out the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19, Brekke expects the league to be stacked from top to bottom.
”Harvard’s gonna be really good. They’ve got a great recruiting class even though they were down for a year. Their group coming in as first year players is really, really talented. Cornell is always gonna be good. Quinnipiac’s gonna be good again. There’s gonna be a lot of parity in the league. There always is, even with teams that didn’t play for a year I still think there’s gonna be some teams that are pretty talented that sat idle for a year,” said Brekke.
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