December 20, 2013

ECAC Journal: Jones brothers are magazine material

By Dan Guttenplan

Kellen Jones (left) and his brother, Connor, have racked up a combined 220 points in their three-plus years at Quinnipiac. (Quinnipiac Athletics photo)

The Jones brothers have certainly left their mark on ECAC Hockey over the last four seasons, and now Connor and Kellen have left their mark on Sports Illustrated.

The Jones brothers were featured in the Faces in the Crowd section of SI's Dec. 16 edition after becoming the fifth set of brothers in NCAA hockey to play four seasons together and reach the 100-point mark for their respective careers.

Connor enters the weekend with 40 goals and 72 assists for 112 points, while Kellen has 44 goals and 64 assists for 108 points.

"I couldn't even put a value on their impact on the program," Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said to New England Hockey Journal this week. "We've had a lot of great players over the years that put us on the map as a top-20 team. What Connor and Kellen did was take a top-20 program and turn it into a top-five program. They elevated the culture."

Now seniors, Connor and Kellen hope to take Quinnipiac back to the national championship game this season. The Bobcats lost to Yale in the title game last season.

With his team off to a 13-3-3 start, Pecknold sees many similarities between this year and last, particularly with the Jones brothers leading the way.

"One of the things that makes us win is how good we are in practice," Pecknold said. "The way we compete is the way we practice on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We slide in on Friday, and we don't miss a beat. They make us go. They're the type of kids you're lucky to get every 10 or 15 years, and we got two of them at once."

Player of the Week

Mat Bodie, sr. D, Union

Bodie led Union to a 2-0-1 week, which included a win and tie against top-ranked St. Cloud State last weekend. Bodie finished with three points on the weekend on one goal and two assists tying for the nation lead in points among all defensemen last week. He also recorded a plus/minus rating of +3 on the week. Bodie now ranks third in the nation among all defensemen in points per game at 1.06 on two goals and 17 assists in 18 contests.

ECAC Rankings

1. Union (12-3-3; 8-1-0): The Dutchmen would just assume skip winter break after closing out the first semester with a record of 9-0-1 in their last 10 games. They next take the ice for a regular-season game Jan. 10.

2. Quinnipiac (13-3-3; 6-2-2): Since the Bobcats' 13-game unbeaten streak came to an end Nov. 23, they have gone 1-2-2 in their last five games. Winter break comes at the perfect time.

3. Clarkson (12-3-1, 6-2-0): The Golden Knights are riding on the motivation gained from being ranked 12th out of 12 teams in the ECAC Hockey preseason coaches' rankings.

4. Yale (6-3-3; 3-2-3): Yale has retooled in a hurry with a productive freshman class that includes Frankie DiChiara, Chris Izmirlian and Mike Doherty (Reading, Mass.).

5. Cornell (7-4-2; 4-3-2): Cornell is starting to look like the team ECAC opponents are accustomed to seeing with a pack-it-in defensive style. The Big Red killed 6 of 6 penalties their last time out in a tie against offensive-minded Colgate.

6. RPI (8-6-4; 3-3-3): Here's a surprise: Stamford, Conn., native Ryan Haggerty was held without a goal in RPI's last game – a 1-1 tie against Denver. Hagerty's 18 goals lead ECAC Hockey.

7. Colgate (7-9-2; 5-3-1): The smoke-and-mirrors show is starting to catch up with the Raiders. It's tough to stay above .500 when you're getting outscored by an average of 0.7 goals per game.

8. Brown (5-6-1; 3-4-1): Good news for the city of Providence: Brown was selected to host the 2015 NCAA East Regionals

9. St. Lawrence (8-9-2; 2-4-2): The Saints will have a bad taste in their mouths for three weeks after falling in their first-semester finale to Vermont 5-1 on Dec. 14.

10. Harvard (4-7-2; 2-6-2): Strong close to the first semester for the Crimson, who earned their first point at Ingalls Rink since 2007 with a 2-2 tie against Yale on Dec. 7.

11. Dartmouth (2-10-0, 2-8-0): The Big Green came alive in December, and their 3-2 loss against Union on Dec. 11 may have been the team's best game of the first semester. They led 2-1 against the top team in the conference in the third period.

12. Princeton (3-12-0; 2-8-0): The Tigers' struggles can be traced to the fact that their most dynamic player, Andrew Calof, has only played in five games due to injury and has yet to score a goal.