Jimmy Casey ‘22
In this week’s edition of the Spire’s weekly Athlete Spotlight, I talked with Bryce Dolan ‘22 of the Men’s Hockey team.
Throughout his first two years, Dolan played a crucial role as a defenseman for the Crusaders. As a freshman, he played in 25 games. He recorded three assists and blocked nine shots while also being named to the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team. He built on that with another strong campaign as a sophomore in which he played in 25 games, recorded one assist and blocked 17 shots. Now an upperclassman, Bryce is poised to be a key leader for his team.
Below is my conversation with Bryce, in which I asked him about hockey, life in the pandemic, goals for the season, and more.
Q: I’m sure quarantine was especially weird for you as an athlete. What’d you do in order to stay prepared for the season?
A: I think it was a true test for myself and my teammates to get creative with our training. Our strength and conditioning coach, Coach Oliver, sent us workout plans that we could do at home without any real equipment. Most guys had no access to a gym or a rink for a few months, so it was crucial for us all to find ways to get workouts in. Whether it was doing push-ups in my basement or shooting pucks in the driveway, I wanted to make sure I did something every day that would help me prepare for the upcoming season.
Q: How does it feel being on campus in such unique circumstances?
A: Without a doubt it is a much different campus without the students here. With that being said, we are all extremely grateful that the administration and the athletic department worked so hard to allow us to be on campus and have a season. I cannot fathom the hard work that they have put into the testing and safety protocols to allow us to be here. I cannot thank Father Burroughs, Marcus Blossom, Coach Berard, and everyone else enough for allowing us to be here and play hockey every day. Sure, at times it is really quiet here and might feel isolated, but I just try and remind myself that everyone around the country and the world are in the same situation. We all need to get used to this type of environment for now and let the country get the virus under control before we can get back to normalcy.
Q: Your conference recently announced its schedule, with the plan being to have two separate pods in which teams will play only the schools in their pod along with a few non-league games. Do these adjustments impact the way that your squad will prepare?
A: Not at all. No matter who we play, we prepare the same way. We are really focused on ourselves rather than the opponent. Coach has prepared us with really productive practices, film sessions, individual skill sessions, and more. We are all prepared for a sporadic season and just want to be prepared for whatever is thrown at us.
Q: If you had to choose, what professional player would you say you model your game after? I’d say a mix of Gretzky and Bobby Orr, but I’d like to hear your input.
A:My favorite player is Charlie McAvoy from the Boston Bruins. He skates extremely well and is a shut-down defenseman while being such a threat on the offensive side of the puck. He is my favorite player to watch. Also, I like to mix it up a bit and get in guy’s heads which is more seen in a guy like Jason Ralph who was such a good instigator.
Q: Do you have any pregame routines that you do before every game?
A: I always have a coffee as I tape my stick before games. The coffee has to be black and it gets me a little buzz before taking the ice. Other than that, I like to stay loose and play soccer with the guys to get a little sweat before warm-ups. Our two captains, Matt Slick and Logan Ferguson, usually fight each other a bit before the game and feed each other some jabs. That usually gets me fired up to see some violence.
Q: What’s your favorite part about being on the hockey team?
A: My favorite part about being on the hockey team is playing for such a great coaching staff and having thirty brothers who would go to war for each other. Our team is a brotherhood and it feels really special to be a part of.
Q: You had an impressive sophomore season. What’re some of your personal and team goals coming into your third year?
A: Personally, I just want to contribute to the team in any way I can to help win. I think just helping keep the puck out of the net and being a physical presence will be important for me. As a team, we have one goal and it is to win the league championship and play in the NCAA tournament. We are all extremely optimistic and excited about the team this year.
Huge thank you to Bryce for allowing me to interview him and giving some great answers. Good luck to him and the hockey team in this upcoming season!