Brandonite Regan Boulton was a second-team all-star in the ECAC for the Quinnipiac Bobcats last season. (SUBMITTED)
Regan Boulton changed her focus going into her junior season with the Quinnipiac Bobcats women’s hockey team and it paid off big time for the Brandonite.
During her first two years at the NCAA Division 1 school, the 5-foot-4 defenceman wanted to be that player that made big plays and scored goals. This past season, the 21-year-old Boulton focused on her play in the defensive end, going on to be named her team’s defensive player of the year and reaching one of the career goals she set for herself when she first went to play for the Bobcats in Hamden, Conn.
"It means a lot actually," said Boulton, who tied for second on Quinnipiac with a plus/minus of +11. "Going in as a freshman, you always think about being that go-to person and that person your team looks to for support. For me, that was a big accomplishment. Going in, freshman year, that was something I always wanted to accomplish was being MVP some day or defensive player. That was pretty big for me."
Despite spending more time working on her play in the back end, Boulton’s offensive production increased.
Boulton finished second on her team — which finished sixth in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 12-8-2 record and lost to the Cornell Big Red in a conference semifinal — in scoring with 21 points (eight goals and 13 assists). She led the division with five power-play goals and was named an ECAC second-team all-star.
The criminal justic major also earned a lot of respect from her peers. Boulton was voted by her teammates to captain the Bobcats next season, which will be her fourth and final year with the team.
"It was an unbelievable feeling when I heard that pretty much everyone voted for me," said Boulton, who received all but one of the votes. "It’s just a lot of hard work and stuff paid off. The last three years I had awesome captains to learn from and I think learning from them helped me improve my non-hockey part of the game off the ice and just learning how to deal with things. That was awesome for me."
Boulton is hoping she can lead Quinnipiac into a break-out season next year with the league’s top teams — Cornell and Harvard — losing a lot of players.
Meanwhile, the Bobcats have a talented young group of players joining them, as three of their five new recruits were members of Canada’s U-18 team.
Boulton knows it will be up to her to make sure those new players fit in the locker-room and to lead the team, which she is looking forward to doing.
"I have a lot of responsibility this year to bring in those girls and teach them the ropes," she said. "I’m looking forward to that and being the person that everyone looks forward to when they’re down and stuff like that.
"I’m looking to contribute the way I did this year and focus on both ends of my game. This year I was nominated to the ECAC second-team all-star team. I’m hoping this year I can maybe get on the first team."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 18, 2012