Lobos gearing up for start to 2018-19 college hockey campaign
Grant Harvey believes the upcoming season for the University of New Mexico is a “firecracker.”
And for obvious reasons.
“Our schedule strength is the hardest it’s ever been,” said Harvey, the Lobos’ head coach. “We are playing five of the top 10 teams in our region. I am looking forward to playing Nebraska in our first outdoor tournament, the Nuclear Shootout. Due to proximity, we don’t get to play them, but they are a perennial powerhouse and it’s good for both of our programs. We have so much history with NAU and Colorado School of Mines that I am looking forward to those dates also. The UTEP rivalry is back up and running, too.”
Player-wise, Harvey is excited at what the roster looks like.
“Mackenzie Smith decided to come back for his final year and that was big for us as I referred to him and Logan Colyer as the ‘Two Generals’ back on ‘D,’” said Harvey. “I am going to rely heavily on Nate Taglialegami to pick up his scoring along with Graeme Chiasson and the young Jarrod Ronquillo for his offensive prowl. James Bostian will be returning in net. Garret Inman is a pillar of my team has to stay injury-free and the newly-acquired Ben Hopp will be instrumental in our success.”
Hopp played the prior four years at Calvin College in Michigan.
What will make the 2018-19 season a success for the Lobos?
“Pulling out the close games is the difference between a playoff contender and a team who watches from the outside – it’s not enough to have close games,” Harvey said. “The true playoff-pedigreed teams win those close games as we did last year with three overtime wins and tying our other overtime game. Playing the two-way game is also the difference maker.
“Our goals are to play a complete game and the rest will take care of itself. I think if we get a good start in our home-heavy schedule, we can get the momentum to be the road warrior team we have a reputation of being.”
— Matt Mackinder
(Sept. 17, 2018)