Holden is a smart guy. He has a 3.98 grade-point average
in biology at Quinnipiac and is the reigning Atlantic Hockey
Scholar-Athlete of the Year. After his hockey career, he
wants to become a dentist.
Holden also is a good goalie. He ranked second in Atlantic
Hockey in goals-against average (2.59) and save percentage
(.914) and first in wins (19) this season. He made 42 saves
in a 2-1 upset of Dartmouth on Oct. 30 – stealing
a win for his team despite a 43-11 shots disadvantage. Last
year, he was on the all-Atlantic Hockey first team and set
school records for GAA (2.32) and save percentage (.932).
could we pass up the opportunity to profile the Bobcats’
senior netminder in advance of the AHA’s final four
this weekend? We couldn’t.
Especially not when Quinnipiac is the No. 1 seed and, thus,
hosting the tournament. In fact, Holden might be the single
most important player on the ice for any of the four teams
tracked down the 23-year-old on Wednesday evening for his
thoughts heading into a weekend that could clinch his second
NCAA tournament berth.
If you don’t know more about Holden than what you
just read, keep going.
He might be coming to a regional near you next week.
7 Bentley at No. 1 Quinnipiac
Bentley: 8-19-6 (6-13-5 AHA) QU: 20-12-3 (16-6-2 AHA) Season series: Quinnipiac won, 3-0-1
Senior goalie Simon St. Pierre needs to win both games
this weekend to tie Barratt Davison for the school’s
all-time wins record (35). Bobcat fact: When sophomore defenseman
Reid Cashman and freshman forward Ben Nelson were
named the CSTV/HCA National Division I player and
rookie of the Month, respectively, for February, it
marked the first time players from the same school
won in the same month. Cashman and Nelson also were
the first two Atlantic Hockey players to win the national
By taking an early lead, or at least keeping the game
tied into the third period. The pressure is always
on the favorite in those situations, so the Falcons
can make Quinnipiac squirm if they keep it tight.
St. Pierre’s netminding will be important. How Quinnipiac wins: Bentley is susceptible
to good-skating teams, and that’s exactly what
the Bobcats are. As long as Quinnipiac plays smart
and doesn’t make dumb turnovers in its own end,
it should generate enough chances offensively to get
Crusader fact: Junior forward Andrew
Weber doubled his season goals total with a hat trick
in Holy Cross’ quarterfinal win over Sacred
Furthermore, last Saturday’s game accounted
for a quarter of Weber’s career goals (12). Laker fact: Mercyhurst is deep with
offensive threats, as evidenced by it having six of
the top 19 scorers in Atlantic Hockey (in order, David
Wrigley, Scott Champagne, Dave Borrelli, Ben Cottreau,
Rich Hansen and T.J. Kemp).
How Holy Cross wins:
Goaltending is always critical during the playoffs,
especially against a high-powered team like the Lakers.
Whoever gets the start for Holy Cross – Tony
Quesada or Ben Conway – will have to be sharp.
And the Crusaders’ league-worst penalty-killing
units must step up and try to negate Mercyhurst’s
league-leading power play. How Mercyhurst wins: By taking advantage
of that very same power play vs. penalty kill matchup.
If the Lakers can bury two or more power-play goals,
they’ll be in great shape. At the same time,
strong defensive efforts must be made to aid rookie
goalie Mike Ella.
College Hockey: You guys must be having a lot of fun up
there, what with the roll you’re on and the fact you’re
hosting the final four this weekend. What’s it like?
Jamie Holden: It’s nice.
We struggled at the start of the year, and I think a lot
of people counted us out. But we’ve been on a nice
run here, and I think it’s going to be an advantage
for us. And it’ll be an advantage to be playing on
home ice. It seems like we’re peaking at the right
Can you tell a difference between the team’s attitude
and outlook in the locker room now versus when you were
struggling in December and January?
JH: Oh yeah, there’s a big difference.
You can see it. Guys are a lot more positive. When we were
struggling, if we got down a goal, guys would kind of hang
their heads a little bit. We didn’t have confidence
we could come back. Now, if we get down a goal, we just
work harder and find an extra gear. We’ve even won
a few games lately after being down a couple of goals, so
we know that we can do that.
Can you pinpoint a time when that mental turnaround started?
JH: There was a game we lost to UConn
at home (on Jan. 14) when we didn’t play all that
well and there was a goal that looked like it was kicked
in by them and it wound up being the game winner. The next
day, we went to their rink and dominated them for the entire
three periods of play and got the win. You know, the first
night, they got the bounce and we didn’t. But we came
back and put together a great game. Then the next weekend,
we beat Holy Cross, and you could just see guys’ attitudes
Was it a case where, all of a sudden, the lightbulb just
went on for a bunch of guys at once? Or did the captains
or coaches say something at that point to get the ball rolling?
JH: I think a lot of guys just kind of found
it at the right time. Our freshmen started scoring goals.
That was about the time Ben Nelson started getting hot.
And Mark Van Vliet and Matt Sorteberg scored some big goals.
We were getting it from everybody. Everyone was stepping
up, and for that, I credit our captains and our coaching
staff. We were starting to jell, and all came together.
Earlier, you mentioned how having home ice will be an advantage
this weekend. Do you really think this weekend’s results
will be affected by the location?
JH: Obviously, everybody’s more
comfortable at home. You get to sleep in your own bed and
go to your own rink. And the fans are on your side. Even
if you get down a goal, the fans are cheering at the right
times, and that helps. If you get down a goal on the road,
everybody’s cheering against you and it makes it really
tough to come back on someone else’s rink. We have
a phenomenal home record this year, so we should come out
strong and get it done.
Your opponent this weekend, Bentley, is the one team in
the final four that people probably didn’t expect
to be there. What’s your scouting report on them?
JH: Bentley, besides Army, is one of the
hardest-working teams in the league. They’re always
hitting, their coach always has them ready to compete, and
they have a good goalie. I think (Simon) St. Pierre could
be a big factor this weekend. They’re tough to play.
We’ve had a lot of tough battles with them. The only
time we really handed it to them was when we had them here
(on Nov. 20). So I’m expecting a good game this weekend.
Being from Telkwa, British Columbia, I assume the question
you most often hear is, “Where the hell is that?”
JH: Yeah. It’s way, way up there
in the middle of nowhere. About 13 or 14 hours north of
Vancouver. There’s not much to do up there except
winter sports, so there’s a lot of hockey and skiing
On a map, it looks like Telkwa is about halfway between
Vancouver and Juneau. Is that accurate?
I guess you could say that.
(Holden seemed amused by this question, probably because
it’s like describing Atlanta as halfway between Detroit
OK, I want to ask you about being the Atlantic Hockey Scholar-Athlete
of the Year. That must have been pretty cool for you, eh?
JH: Yeah, because a lot of hard
work goes into both sides. I didn’t want to come down
here and just solely focus on hockey. I want a degree that
means something that I can take with me after hockey’s
over. I try to do my best in both. To excel, especially
in the biology department, involves a lot of long nights
studying. But I think it’s going to be worth it down
Do your teammates give you crap for studying so much?
JH: Oh yeah. I get it all the
time. Especially when I’m reading all throughout a
bus ride or something like that. But they’re all supportive
I bet it’s those lousy, good-for-nothing forwards
who don’t do any work who are giving you grief.
JH:(Laughs.) No, no. As a team,
we all do really well in school.
Was it tough splitting time with Justin Eddy your first
three years at Quinnipiac?
JH: Kind of. I always want to
play, want to compete, want to get in every game I can.
But when you’re sharing time with a goalie like Justin
Eddy, you’re not just watching the other guy in net
and saying, ‘Man, I should be out there.’ You’re
watching a great goalie and rooting for him. Our relationship
was interesting because we were best friends on and off
the ice. I supported him as much as he supported me. We’d
always work on stuff together and try to get better. It
was tough not playing all the time, but the experience made
me a better goalie.
How much would it mean to you to go out as a senior in the
NCAA tournament? You’d kind of be ending at the pinnacle.
JH: It would be great. The best way to
go out. Going to the NCAAs as a freshman, you almost take
it for granted. You’re like, ‘I’ve made
it,’ and you don’t realize how tough it is.
Especially after losing in the tournament final as a sophomore
and then getting knocked off in the first round last year,
this is pretty exciting. That freshman class we had when
we got to the tournament was really strong, kind of similar
to this year’s class. The teams are a lot alike.
Last question. Do you have any shout-outs?
JH: No, not really. Just my mom
and my dad. And my teammates.