Though Providence slipped to sixth in the Hockey East standings after losing three consecutive league games for the first time since Nate Leaman’s first season (2011-12) as head coach, the Friars are sure happy to have Hingham, Mass., native Jay O’Brien back in the lineup.
O’Brien missed six games in October and November due to upper-body injuries, but the Flyers’ No. 19 overall pick back in June logged a goal and an assist over his first two games after returning from the World Junior Championship with a silver medal for Team USA.
Every year, players talk about how much playing in one of the nation’s top tournaments contributes to confidence when the college season resumes. O’Brien was no exception.
“I think it was good to take a break from school and just play hockey for a little bit,” said O’Brien. “I was able to review some things I need to work on from the first half and kind of translate that to the rest of the season. Just getting the puck off my stick quicker and being quicker in the corners. There are guys who are big and strong out here, so you've really got to be quick.”