By Thomas Zinzarella ’21
“I just want to be the best player in college hockey.” That’s the personal goal that Jack Dugan ’22 has this year as he takes the ice for the nationally ranked Providence College Men’s Hockey Team.
Dugan was most recently awarded the Hockey East Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 28 and was named the Hockey East Player of the Month for October. Dugan has been one of the most electrifying players to watch in college hockey this year, and he currently leads the country in assists (13) and points (18).
The Vegas Golden Knights draft pick has caught the attention of hockey fans including ESPN broadcaster and SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross. Buccigross, who coined the term ‘Cawlidge Hawkey,’ religiously follows college hockey and broadcasts the NCAA Tournament and Frozen Four every year for ESPN. Buccigross attended the game on Saturday night at Schneider Arena against Boston College and went onto Twitter after the game and tweeted this:
“I enjoy watching @GoldenKnights draft pick #12 Jack Dugan play hockey. He is hard nosed, confident, has a good release & works well with his linemates. He digs deep & works to make a play even when he’s tired. The PC Friars are very young, so they need his example and consistency.”
Dugan would finish the game with a goal and an assist, and has now recorded points in seven of the eight games this year. In all seven of those games he has recorded at least two points.
The sophomore forward is coming off a promising freshman season during which he skated in 41 of 42 games and was an active part of the Friars offense. He notched a team high 29 assists which led all NCAA freshmen during the 2018-2019 season.
Dugan was a key part of the Friars’ run to the Frozen Four last year. He put up five assists in the Hockey East quarterfinals against Boston College and had two assists throughout the NCAA tournament. The Friars defeated the top-seeded Minnesota State University in the opener of the tournament and rolled over 3-seed Cornell University to advance to their fifth ever Frozen Four.
The Friars unfortunately fell to Minnesota-Duluth, who would go on to win the National Championship. Going to the National Championship is one of the goals that Jack Dugan and this Friar team have their sights set on.
Dugan also alluded to a Hockey East championship, since the Friars did not make it past the Hockey East Quarterfinals last season after being bounced by Boston College on their home ice.
“We were close last year…obviously came up a little bit short.” Dugan added, “We played a really good team that ended up winning the whole thing. Our focus hasn’t changed. If anything it’s a little more focused on ‘alright we know can get there…now what are the little things we have to do to break through and actually win it.’”
It is still very early in the season but so far Head Coach Nate Leaman’s squad has amassed a 4-3-1 record, including a 2-2 mark in Hockey East play. The Friars opened up their season with a thrashing of Maine 7-0 and followed it up with a sweep of St. Lawrence and No. 9 Clarkson. It will take until December-January for the Friars to try and hit their stride. Under the tutelage of Leaman and with promising play from Dugan, the Friars can only get better from here and boast one of the best scoring offenses in the country.