Hamilton first DI men’s hockey captain designated for 2017-18
March 22, 2017 | Lynchburg, Va.
Freshman forward Josh Hamilton, who ranked fifth on Liberty University’s ACHA Division I men’s hockey team in scoring with 15 goals and 15 assists this year, is the first player to be named a captain for the 2017-18 season.
“Josh has a lot of great characteristics,” Flames Head Coach Kirk Handy said. “Had to battle to be in the lineup and he competed night-in and night-out for us this season. He’s a guy who, by the end of the year, led by example as part of a strong nucleus that we have coming back next year.”
Hamilton was thrilled to be offered the title of captain and understands the significance of the role he will play, as a leader on the ice and in the locker room.
“Absolutely, the responsibility is huge, especially being such a young guy,” he said. “(The coaches) saw my work ethic on and off the ice and that was a big part of it. It’s awesome they entrusted me with and I’m really honored. I have some large shoes to fill after (senior defenseman) Ben Hughes. He was such a great captain, so it’s going to be tough, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m excited and happy about it.”
Hamilton, a business major from Jamestown, N.C., showed steady improvement as his freshman season progressed.
“It started off pretty rocky and I couldn’t find my groove early,” he said. “After Christmas break, things started to click and the puck started going in the net a little more often. It was definitely a good second half.”
The team as a whole peaked toward the postseason, ending the regular season on a seven-game winning streak before winning the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League (ESCHL) tournament title in its first season in the conference.
“The 10-game win streak, beating Davenport twice at home, and Stony Brook in the conference championship game was a highlight for the team and a fun thing to be a part of,” Hamilton said. “Since we’re such a young team, having 15 freshmen, we did well.”
“I’m excited for the new guys coming in,” Hamilton said. “It’s definitely a great atmosphere to play in front of (at the LaHaye Ice Center) and it’s definitely going to be a great year of growing stronger as a team and as brothers.”
Handy expects to designate at least two other returning players as captains in the near future.