Holden holding down the fort

By on February 5, 2004

For a goaltender, the ultimate personal goal is to record a shutout. To accomplish that feat in back-to-back games, and on consecutive nights versus the same opponent, to boot, is even sweeter. And to earn a place in the school record books on top of all that, well, it does not get much better than that.

Junior Jamie Holden continued to frustrate the rest of Atlantic Hockey when he blanked Army, 2-0 and 3-0, on January 23 and 24, respectively. In doing so, the native of Telkwa, British Columbia, became the first goaltender in the history of the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey program to record back-to-back shutouts. He also extended his own school record for shutout minutes to 167:07.

“I was pretty excited to get the back-to-back shutouts, but I thinkTthat without my team in front of meTthey wouldn’t have happened,” said Holden. “I think of it as a team accomplishment.”

To nobody’s surprise, Holden was named Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week for the period ending January 25. He has taken home the honor four times this season, tying him with Merrimack’s Andy Franck for the most in the league. “It is nice to be recognized [as Goalie of the Week], but again I owe a lot of it to my team,” said Holden.

In league play, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Holden has been nearly flawless, leading all Atlantic Hockey goaltenders in goals against average, with 1.42 and save percentage, with .956. His overall save percentage of .934 ranks fourth in the nation.

Holden, who owns a record of 7-1-2 versus Atlantic Hockey opponents this season, is just two shutouts shy of tying the school record set by J.C. Wells. Holden has posted two shutouts this season and five in his Quinnipiac career.

But Holden is not letting the success go to his head. His focus remains on winning games for the team and getting the Bobcats back to the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years. To Holden, team success comes before personal accomplishments.

“Yes, the shutouts will go in the record books, but I think that getting to the NCAA tournament again this year is far more important for the program and the University,” said Holden.

Right now, Holden has the hot hand for the Bobcats, but he knows very well that senior goalie Justin Eddy, of Apple Valley, Minn., is waiting in the wings. Both goalies could easily be a starter on any other Atlantic Hockey team, but working together and battling for playing time has made each a stronger player in the end.

“I think Eddy is a great goaltender with a great future in front of him,” said Holden. “Every day I know that I have to play my best because I know that he is going to play his best.”

The future looks to be bright for Holden, also. He has one year ahead of him at Quinnipiac, and after that he hopes to pursue a career in professional hockey. Holden is well prepared for life after hockey, too.

“My major is Biology Pre-Med,” said Holden. “After I am done playing hockey, I plan on going to medical school to pursue a career in dentistry.”

But for the current time, Holden has his mind set on blanking more opponents and winning games as the Bobcats move closer to the Atlantic Hockey playoffs and, hopefully, an appearance in the NCAA tournament.


About Doug Manners