POTSDAM — For most ECAC Hockey players the road trip to play Clarkson and St. Lawrence University is one they dread.
For Rensselaer women’s hockey senior Blake Orosz, the opposite is the case.
Orosz is from Chase Mills and went to Madrid-Waddington. She also played girls hockey for Canton High School.
This weekend is her final trip to her home region as RPI (0-16-1 overall, 0-6-0 ECAC Hockey) plays Clarkson at 6 tonight and St. Lawrence University at 3 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s a great weekend for me, I get to see family and friends,” Orosz said. “It’s more exciting. I didn’t play much (at Clarkson growing up), but I came and watched a lot and at St. Lawrence. It was weird my freshman year coming and playing them. It’s an experience. I’ve always just felt like I’ve got to beat them, because they are my hometown teams and I have to prove some people wrong, and what not. It’s definitely a hometown rivalry for me.”
Orosz currently leads the Engineers in scoring with four goals and two assists. She also led the team last year when she scored 17 goals with 10 assists in 36 games.
“RPI, their academics is just amazing,” Orosz said. “When I visited I liked the atmosphere at the rink, the team, and mostly it pointed toward the education.”
Orosz, who said she is considering becoming a state trooper after college, has a special homecoming Saturday when she faces the Saints. Not only did she play against SLU captain Kalie Grant, a Potsdam native, in high school, but the two were linemates on a junior team in Nepean, Ontario.
“We played together for two years,” Orosz said. “We get to see each other after, even traveling all over, teams we play I am usually playing old teammates. In Nepean we were linemates and we did really well together.”
HOMECOMING FOR GREENWAY
Canton native J.D. Greenway, a junior defenseman at Maine, played his first NCAA Division I men’s hockey games in his home area last weekend since he was a member of the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2016-17 season.
Greenway left Wisconsin early in his sophomore year, spent the rest of the 2017-18 season playing for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL and then transferred to Maine. He had to sit out last season.
“I didn’t know, before the schedule came out,” Greenway said of Maine’s two games against St. Lawrence last weekend at SUNY Canton. “Once I knew it was on it, I called my family right away and let them know and they started getting tickets.”
Greenway has played in 16 games for the Black Bears this year and has a goal with five assists. He is a third-round draft pick of the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
“He’s been terrific,” Maine coach Red Gendron said. “We had to replace five defensemen and he was a defenseman with some college experience. He’s a great kid and he’s playing really well for us.”
Greenway didn’t get to face the Saints in Appleton Arena, which is still undergoing renovations, but that was not a disappointment for him. He spent summers before college working out at SUNY Canton’s facility with his older brother, Jordan, a forward with the Minnesota Wild.
“I remember when me and my brother were really young just running around, right around the first couple years that this place was built,” Greenway said after last Friday’s game. “We would just come into the gym. They would let us work out. I don’t really know what the reason was behind it. We came here to skate. We came here to work out. It’s been a huge piece of my life.”
POINTS AT STAKE
Saturday’s SLU at Clarkson men’s hockey game will be the third matchup between the teams at Cheel Arena this season, but this time ECAC Hockey points are at stake.
Clarkson won a pair of nonconference games in overtime early in November, beating the Saints, 4-3 and 3-2.
“I think we are a better hockey team than when we played them last time,” SLU coach Brent Brekke said. “I like the matchup more just to see how much we’ve taken a development step. We played close games last time, but I think they had the better, as far as chances in the games. It will be good to see how we fare against them.”
Clarkson junior Elizabeth Giguere was named the ECAC Hockey women’s player of the month for November after scoring 12 goals and recording multi-point games four times.
Giguere leads the nation with 18 goals and is tied for fourth nationally with 30 points.
She has 174 points for her career and is closing in on former linemate Loren Gabel’s school record of 213.