Team Overview: Back for the third season at his alma mater, head coach Jamie Rice really likes his returning players as well as what the newcomers can bring to his team. “We lost a big class last season that were the primary group that redefined the hockey program here at Babson,” Rice said. “No doubt we will be young but we will be competitive. We are looking for our freshman group to come in and seize the opportunity to play while we also expect some of our sophomores to take their game up a level and contribute a bit more than they did last season.”
Junior captain John Geverd is the team’s leading returning scorer having posted 14 goals and 10 assists for 24 points last season, including 6 power play goals and 4 game winning goals. Look for improved numbers from sophomores JT Balben (8-12-20), Brad Baldelli (7-11-18) and Pat McLaughlin (6-9-15) this season.
Last year’s ECAC East Rookie Goalie of the Year, Skylar Nipps returns for his sophomore season with high expectations. Nipps posted a solid 8-4-0 record with a 2.39 goals against average in thirteen games started for the Beavers last season. Rice is expecting a very competitive goalie situation based on his prior two seasons and believes his team will be solid in goal.
Special Teams: Babson did not break the 100-goal plateau offensively last season but did score 34 times on the power play which was greater than one-third of the team’s total offensive output. Their 17 goals against while playing a man down were the fewest in the league.
Schedule: The Babson Invitiational once again will host an outstanding field of D-III teams — including the host team — along with UMass-Dartmouth, Southern Maine and Geneseo. Playing in the Cardinal Classic over the holiday break provides match-ups with Neumann as well as Conn College or host Plattsburgh.
Summary: Babson will be right in the thick of the race and if the Beavers can improve their offensive output may reach the 20-win mark.