Santa Fe product Barliant moving forward at Sacred Heart
After adjusting to NCAA Division I hockey at Sacred Heart University (Atlantic Hockey) during the 2015-16 season, Jackson Barliant is already chomping at the bit to see what his sophomore season of 2016-17 has in store.
The Santa Fe native and former Jr. Scorpions forward is busily training with his Pioneers teammates this spring.
“In talking with the vets, it’s clear that things have changed significantly as far as our offseason regimen,” said Barliant, who totaled a goal and three assists in 26 games last season. “We’ve been training four days a week and often times have two or more timed runs to test our cardiovascular. Some days are tougher than others, but by doing it together, we all know it’ll help us in the end.”
Barliant explained that statistics and the team’s win-loss record aside, his freshman campaign was second to none.
He notched his first NCAA goal on Jan. 15 on the road at Mercyhurst University.
“Personally, while I would have liked it to happen earlier in the year, my first goal was huge for me,” Barliant said. “It was a great pass back door and all I had to do was lift it under the bar. It was a major confidence booster and sigh of relief all at the same time. What truly made it special was how happy all of my teammates were for my success. It shows a lot about the type of character we have here at Sacred Heart.”
Off the ice, Barliant is enamored with college life.
“I consider the hockey and school to be secondary when it comes to what I’ve taken most from this year,” Barliant said. “More importantly than those two things would be the friendships I’ve established thus far. All of the freshman players were able to live together in off-campus housing and it’s something that has bonded our class together. Lots of ups and a few downs, but in living under one roof, we’ve learned to accept each other for who we are and to bring the best out in each other.
“I look forward to spending my years at Sacred Heart with these guys and everyone on the hockey team for that matter.”
Moving forward, Barliant said the mood around the team is one of high optimism.
“Each year, we seem to be getting closer and closer to where we want to be,” said Barliant. “With plans underway to play in a new arena, the future is looking bright for the men’s hockey team. It definitely helps getting the first year out of the system. I know what to expect and know how I can be a useful asset to this team. We’re all pushing for a serious run.”
— Matt Mackinder