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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nashua’s Bond out to lead SNHU hockey revival

When Nashua’s T.J. Bond was a freshman hockey player on the Bishop Guertin junior varsity, he didn’t have to look far for inspiration.

He watched an undersized senior winger, like he projected to be, help lead the Cardinals to the first of back-to-back state titles.

The player was Pat O’Kane of Hollis, who is wrapping up a very production college career as a senior captain this winter at Assumption. The two friends, who train together in the summer, have met on the ice three times this winter.

“He’s the same height as me, 5-8, and plays wing,’’ said Bond, now a freshman at Southern New Hampshire University, “so I’ve kind of modeled what I do on what he’s accomplished.’’

O’Kane leads his team in goals with 13 and recently went over the 100-point mark for his career. He has helped lead the Greyhounds, 6-16-4 his freshman year, to the upper echelon of the Northeast-10.

Bond is hoping to eventually have the same impact on the hockey program at SNHU. Through 21 games the Penmen are 1-19-1 and Bond is tied for second on the team in scoring with 11 points.

“We’re very young,’’ Bond said, “and we’ve showed we can play with any team in the league.’’

The Penmen have proved it against Assumption, which trails only Saint Anselm in the league standings. In three games against the Greyhounds, they dropped a 3-2 overtime decision and lost the others 5-3 and 6-4. In that last game, both Bond and O’Kane scored goals.

O’Kane prepared for Assumption with a prep school year at Williston Northhampton School. Bond prepped last winter at New Hampton, leading them to the finals of the small school New England tournament.

Before that he was on Bishop Guertin teams that dropped tough semifinal games to the eventual championship, losing to Pinkerton in 2009 and Concord as a senior. He had 15 goals and 25 assists as a senior.

“This season has definitely been a learning experience,’’ Bond said. “The key will be how hard we work in the off-season to get ready for next year.’’

Hard work in the classroom is a given. Bond is in a three-year honors business program, and hopes to compete in his fourth year while pursuing a master’s degree.

Ivy Muchuma

Ivy Muchuma of Nashua, a sophomore at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was named the Liberty League Performer of the Week in track and field.

At the Liberty League Championships, Muchuma won both the weight throw and shot put and was second in the triple jump.

Earlier in the season she won the shot put in the Wesleyan Invitational and finished in the top five in two other events.

Bridget Meehan

Sophomore Bridget Meehan of Nashua, a sophomore at UMass-Lowell, was one of seven River Hawks named to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All Academic team.

Meehan – a graduate of Trinity High School in Manchester – finished 69th in the East Regional last fall. She’s a nursing major with a 3.5 grade point average.

Tim Schaller

Tim Schaller of Merrimack scored the winning goal for Providence College in a 5-4 victory over 12th ranked Maine on Friday night and was named Hockey East Co-Player of the Week.

Schaller, who also had an assist in the game, added a goal and assist on Saturday as the Friars beat UMass, 4-3.

Schaller, who missed seven games due to injury, still leads the team with 13 goals and is second in points with 19.

Phil Arnone

Sophomore Phil Arnone of Litchfield was named Co-Player of the Week by the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference.

The 5-foot-7 forward at Plymouth State scored two goals and assisted on another in Plymouth’s only game, a 4-3 road win at Salem State that put the Panthers (13-6-2) on top of the conference standings.

Arnone, who played prep hockey at Winchendon School, is fourth on the team in scoring with six goals and nine assists in 21 games.

William Godfrey

William Godfrey of Merrimack, a senior at the University of New Hampshire, finished 27th on Saturday at the Boston University Valentine’s Meet.

Godfrey ran the 800 meter in 1:53.31 to qualify for the IC4A Championships.

Rachael Carter

Salem State freshman Rachael Carter of Merrimack had 22 point, seven rebounds and seven assists on Saturday in a 93-84 victory over Fitchburg State.

It was the seventh straight game Carter has led the team in scoring. She averaging a team best 13.6 points per game, and also lead the team in assists (84) and steals (63).

She’s second in rebounding with 6.0 per game.