Schenectady – It would have been easier for union college hockey forward Josh Cossack and defenseman Brandon Estes to graduate from school with fellow seniors in June and then transfer to another college to end their hockey careers perhaps because they had the chance to play last season Was not found. Due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, they wanted to play another year in the union.
To do this, Cossack and Estes withdrew from school last year, and then enrolled again so that they could play this season.
The Cossacks and Estes will be in the lineup on Saturday when the Dutch host the RPi in an exhibition game. This will be the union’s first competition after March 8, 2020.
“I could never see myself throwing on another jersey” [and] Ever playing for another school,” the Cossack said Wednesday at Union Men’s and Women’s Hockey Media Day at the Mesa Rink. “It’s cliche to say everything this school and this program has done for me and who I was as a person and all things like that, but I really changed from a kid to a man.” Gaya. I give full credit to the people I met in the union, the professors, the coaches, my peers, everything like that.”
The Cossacks won the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award in recognition of an NCAA Division I hockey player whose contribution cannot be measured by statistics, and was a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. He acknowledged that it was a difficult decision.
“My first initial thought was, yes, this [stinks]But just graduate with my class and move on,” said the Cossack, who scored two goals and five assists in 37 games in 2019-20. “And I remember, maybe 12 hours [later], I called [Union head coach] porouti [Bennett] Back, and I just said, ‘You know what, I don’t know why, but I’m having a change of heart. I can’t see myself leaving.’
“I talked with my family, and we all agreed that this is the only place I want to play college hockey.”
It also helped that the Cossack’s roommate Estes decided that she wanted to put off graduation and play another year.
“It really wasn’t that hard for me,” said Estes, who collected three goals and six assists in 37 games in 2019-20. “Obviously I’ve been here for so long that it felt like home. These people are like family to me. It was a very easy decision for me.”
Bennett is happy to have both back.
“It was a decision that he really appreciated as an employee,” Bennett said. “I am personally grateful that he made this decision. It says how much pride and loyalty he has in that jersey. In the same way, I understand the decisions of other seniors, based on their individual needs as well.”
Take out SOPHS time
Estes and Kosack weren’t the only union players to take the year off from school.
Sophomore forwards Liam Robertson and Chaz Smedsrud also withdrew from the union. Now they are back, and each will have three years of eligibility left.
Robertson scored three goals and five assists in 27 games in 2019-20.
“Once I found out we weren’t playing [and] Not having the season, it made more sense for me to take the year off, come back … with sophistication class and start anew this year again,” said Robertson. “I think, honestly, it worked best this way. I think it was what I needed the most. It worked out better for me and my family that way too.”
Smedsrud finished third in the team in 2019-20 with six goals. He finished with 10 points in 33 games.
“One of the main factors in the decision on whether to cancel the season, is to just talk with my family and guarantee just four years of hockey here,” Samedsrud said. “That went into the decision.”
The Cossack men would be the captain. The alternate captains are junior defenseman Dylan Enhorn and junior forward Gabriel Segar.
The captain of the women’s team is senior forward Cassidy Michaelica. He played as a sophomore in all 34 games in 2019-20 and scored one goal and two assists.
“Wearing the ‘C’ doesn’t define the leader,” said Michalica. “I think a leader, no matter what’s on your jersey, would be someone you’re going to see in the locker room, you’re going to see them in practice, you’re going to see them lift down. [weights], you are going to see in class. Whether or not you have a ‘C’ on your jersey depends on the coach. Despite this, I and others will be good leaders and we will be fine.”
Union women’s head coach Josh Siba prefers Michaelica as captain.
“Cass has grown so much in his career,” Saiba said. “She’s someone who sees the big picture. I think she’s mature for her age. She’s capable of holding her teammates accountable, good or bad. She cares about the big picture, cares about the team.” When you put all these together, she is a good role model for some young players.”
Saiba said he would not name an alternate captain until next week. The Dutch women will begin their season at RIT on Friday.
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