AIC faces a tough challenge from the Bobcats: Read More

Photo Credit:Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

For AIC, the team knows they need some signature non conference wins to boost their national tournament profile. This weekend against the Bobcats of Quinnipiac is one of their last remaining chances to earn non conference wins that could be the the difference between an at large bid in March, or time spent at home wondering “what if.”

Head Coach Eric Lang said the following on how similar this Bobcats group is to the one his team faced last year , “They are extremely balanced and could be one of the best structural teams we see all year. They are unbelievably predictable for one another. They rarely stray from what they are trying to do.”

One player that has stood out for Lang’s group as an energy provider in the third or fourth line for AIC this year is Darwin Lakoduk. The sophomore brings the same energy to the game reminiscent of what Aaron Grounds brings, and always is tough to compete against. Lang mentioned the following on Lakoduk’s eligibility and on Darwin himself given that he came to AIC midway during last season. “He does get the 5th year. He’s a wonderful coachable kid. He’s going to be a terrific player in this league. With the uncertainty of BCHL last year we simply said come here and let us develop you. It has paid big dividends.”

As for those who are not playing as much, Lang also took the time to single those out who are performing well, and those who could get some more work this season. Luis Lidner has played some, but everyone else on this list has not played in game action this year. As Lang said “Luis Lidner practices everyday likes it’s his last. Reggie millette has an unprecedented work ethic as well. Our hardest worker is Cheese ( goaltender Jarrett Fiske) who has not been rewarded but he keeps on chugging away. He’s a special person.”

One thing that stands out about AIC as a program is how Lang empowers his assistants. All of them run practices a lot, especially early in the year where Lang is trying to fill out a lineup, which is a daunting task when you have the roster depth AIC does. As Lang said , “They each bring their own perspective to the game and Cory Schneider , Matt Woodard , and Patrick Tabb are so passionate about AIC hockey it starts there. They each have their unique skill set but all 3 are player first coaches. They put the student athlete needs above everything else.”

On the Bobcats and Their head coach Rand Pecknold, Lang was effusive with praise for what he does, saying “Rand in my opinion is one of the best in the country. His teams are prepared competitive and always win. He is tough to coach against because his teams can put pressure on you in so many areas.”

The teams that AIC play out of conference this year are all considered top tier programs. Lang explained the decision saying , We have made a decision to play elite hockey programs this year Quinnipiac Umass providence certainly fall into that category. We know we are going to be better for it in the long run.”

The team has improved in their non conference play. The next chance for them to earn points to go along with their improvement comes this weekend.

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