A 22-5-2 record, a second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, and consecutive ECAC East Tournament titles for the first time in program history only begin to scratch the surface of the most recent accomplishments of the Babson men’s ice hockey program. Heading into their NCAA Tournament quarterfinal game, which they hosted for the first time since 1992, the Beavers posted their highest national rankings ever. Babson stood second in the country in the D3hockey.com poll and third according to USCHO (U.S. College Hockey Online).
Babson’s 22 victories tied for the third most in program history and were the most since the 1987-1988 season. The Beavers went 13-3-2 in the ECAC East to capture a share (with Norwich University) of the regular season championship before advancing to the league tournament title game for the fifth time in six years.
Head coach Jamie Rice ’90, ECAC East Coach of the Year, says, “They really love each other, love their college, love their hockey program. I think it gives them a little extra, knowing that they’re playing for something bigger than themselves. They play for Babson hockey, the past, present, and future. It certainly is a great thing to have as a coach, when you don’t have to motivate guys because they really care that deeply and passionately about it.”
That commitment and passion alongside great talent was rewarded with numerous accolades. Jamie Murray ’16, Mike Driscoll ’15, and Ryan Heavey ’14 earned All-America laurels, giving Babson multiple All-Americans for the first time since 1993. Murray was voted ECAC East Player and Goaltender of the Year, becoming the program’s first player of the year honoree.
With Heavey joining 11 teammates at graduation this May, Rice reflected on the senior class. “It’s a special group, because they were here for a little bit of a downtime,” says Rice. “It wasn’t rock bottom of the earth, but it was difficult. I think just having gone through the difficult times, having pulled themselves out of it, having seen what last year’s team was able to accomplish, to be able to see them get some fruits of their labor is certainly very rewarding. That’s where the credit goes to them.”—Scott Dietz, associate director of athletics