This weekend's road trip to Clarkson and St. Lawrence could be a record-breaking one for Mat Bodie.
With 77 career points, including 16 this season, the junior defenseman is three points away from ousting Lane Caffaro as the highest scoring defenseman in the program's Division I era.
"That's not something I've put a lot of thought into," Bodie recently admitted. "The way I get my points with a lot of assists is a tribute to the talent I've played with. It's guys like Jeremy Welsh, Wayne Simpson, Adam Presizniuk, just to name a few. They've been really good goal scorers here, so I have to credit a lot to them."
|Mat Bodie (Times Union)|
"Some people have the ability to put up points and him and his brother [Kyle] have that ability," Bennett said. "It's a God given talent because not a lot of people can say that. It's basically his hard work and pride in the game that has given him a chance to break the record."
Bennett was an assistant coach under Nate Leaman when the younger Bodie was being recruited and the process is still fresh on his mind.
"Mat stuck out on a visit and our staff really liked him. It was a slam dunk in that all three coaches -- Leaman, Ben Barr, and myself -- liked him," Bennett said. "It was a matter of trying to get him away from the North Dakota's of the world. But with his brother here, that helped out a lot. Mat's a pretty independent thinker and he kept us at bay for awhile. It was a touch and go process, but we won out."
While some players need time to adjust to the rigors of college hockey, that wasn't the case with Bodie. The native of East St. Paul, Manitoba played in all 40 games during his freshman season and his 32 points broke Mike Schreiber's single season school record for points by a defenseman. Those totals placed him second among all ECAC defenseman and earned him a spot on the league's all-rookie team.
"Part of it was having my brother here," Bodie said of his quick transition to the college game. "He helped me get adjusted to living in the dorms and living away from home."
"I also have to thank Brock Matheson quite a bit," he added. "He was the captain of the team at the time and my partner on defense. I had a couple tough games, but he really showed me the ropes. Third would be the coaching staff. They knew I was a freshman and I would make mistakes. But they created confidence in me and it started off from that."
The 18th-ranked Dutchmen (13-8-5, 6-4-4) face off at Clarkson (6-13-7, 5-6-3) tomorrow at 7 pm ahead of a matchup with St. Lawrence (12-10-4, 5-5-4) the next night.