Friday, January 25, 2013

Yale, Josh Balch, prepared for ECAC weekend with Cornell, Colgate

NEW HAVEN — It’s a fairly safe assumption that nearly every Division I forward, at some point in their development, was a prolific scorer. Most, upon entering the world of major college hockey, must reshape themselves to adapt.

Josh Balch is no exception. As a Triple-A player he racked up points at such a delirious pace — over 1,600 in nine seasons — that the Chicago Young Americans retired his jersey. When he entered Yale four years ago, he found himself surrounded by elite goal-scorers.

“We had so many great offensive players,” Balch said. “Sean Backman. Mark Arcobello. Broc Little. I understood the only way I was going to find playing time was to change my role to that of a defensive player. I’ve adapted, and I love the role I’m playing right now.”

Thirteen players, including five defensemen, have more points than the three Balch has scored this season. But the senior from Wilmette, Ill., is indispensable for the No. 8 Bulldogs, who hit the road for a weekend ECAC Hockey series at No. 18 Cornell (tonight, 7:30, NBC Sports Network) and Colgate (Saturday, 7 p.m.).

Read more about Balch and Yale's weekend series with Cornell and Colgate in Chip's column.


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