Mercyhurst University men’s hockey coach Rick Gotkin has announced that senior Grant Blakey (Canton, Michigan) and juniors Nick Jones (Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania) and Daniel O’Donoghue (Port Jefferson Station, New York) will serve as the captains for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
The trio will serve as tri-captains for the upcoming season, with each player garnering the “C” on his jersey.
Blakey missed eight games last season due to an injury, but still posted four goals and 12 assists for 16 points, finishing 11th on the team in scoring. He was leading or near the team lead in scoring before he went down with his injury. He finished tied for third on the team with a +2 rating last season and also had one of Mercyhurst’s two shorthanded goals. His 12 assists was tied for eighth on the team. Blakey has played in 105 games for the Lakers in his three seasons, and has recorded 24 goals and 42 assists for 66 points. He will be one of only four seniors on next year’s squad, joining defenseman Charlie Carkin, forward Paul Chiasson, and goaltender Max Strang.
Named the team’s Top Defenseman at the team’s postseason banquet, Nick Jones was only one of five players last season to play in all 40 games. He was the only non-freshman from Mercyhurst to be named to an All-Conference team, earning a Third Team nod as a defenseman. Jones led all Laker defensemen in scoring with 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points this season. He was tied for fifth on the team in both goals and points. His ten goals was the most goals by a Laker defenseman since Jamie Hunt scored 12 during the 2005-06 season. Hunt went on to become the first Laker to play in the National Hockey League, skating for the Washington Capitals.
In fact, Jones’ ten goals was tied for third-most by a Mercyhurst defenseman since the 1999-2000 season. T.J. Kemp scored 11 in 2002-03 and then scored 10 during the 2004-05 season. Jones finished in a tie for third among Atlantic Hockey defensemen with his 24 points this season, trailing only Air Force’s Tim Kirby (28) and Connecticut’s Alex Gerke (25). He was tied with Air Force’s Scott Mathis. Jones has played in 74 career games and has 15 goals and 19 assists for 34 points.
Named the team’s Top Defensive Forward at the team’s postseason banquet, Daniel O’Donoghue played in 39 games last season and was tied for seventh on the team in scoring with eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points. He was one of the Lakers’ best penalty killers all season and was usually on the team’s top unit when called upon to kill a penalty. O’Donoghue scored Mercyhurst’s first shorthanded goal of the season against Sacred Heart on January 6 and he was named the Atlantic Hockey Co-Player of the Week on January 23 after posting two goals and two assists in a series at Holy Cross. In 76 career games, O’Donoghue has 18 goals and 22 assists for 40 points.
Mercyhurst loses just three players to graduation from a team that finished the 2011-12 season with a 20-16-4 overall record and advanced to the Atlantic Hockey Association semifinals for the first time since the 2008-09 season. The team’s 20 victories was also the most by a Mercyhurst team since winning 22 games during the 2008-09 campaign.