David McIntyre Named First-Team All-American

David McIntyre Named First-Team All-American

Jaime Heilbron

Colgate men’s hockey player junior David McIntyre recently finished an amazing season for the Raiders (21 goals and 22 assists in 37 games), dazzling Colgate fans with his dominance. McIntyre’s 43 points this year is the highest single-season point total a Colgate player has had since current St. Louis Blues center Andy McDonald ’00 scored 25 goals and notched 33 assists for 58 points during his senior year in 1999-2000. Experts outside Starr Rink have taken note, as McIntyre has racked up multiple honors in the postseason, including being named by the American Hockey Coaches Association to the All-American East First Team at the NCAA Frozen Four in Washington, D.C. this past week.

“[Being named an All-American] is an amazing feeling that words can’t really describe,” McIntyre said. “You come into Starr Rink for the first time and see all the amazing players that have played here in the past who are honored on the [Starr Rink All-American] wall, and hope that you can be one of those players one day. When it happens it’s just extremely shocking, especially when there are so many outstanding players in the country.”

This group of men that were named first-team All Americans combine to form a talented bunch: Of the five selected along with McIntyre, four participated in the NCAA tournament, three skated in the Frozen Four, two became national champions and one player, Boston University defenseman Matt Gilroy, won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given to the best player in men’s college hockey.

However, McIntyre’s official All-American recognition was just the tip of the iceberg. On March 19, McIntyre was named to the ECAC Hockey First Team, becoming the first Raider to be given that honor since Tyler Burton ’08 and Mark Dekanich ’08 were on that squad after the 2005-2006 season. Inside College Hockey also named him the ECAC Hockey Player of the Year. McIntyre was also named as one of ten finalists for the 2009 Hobey Baker Award, becoming the first Colgate hockey player to be named a finalist since McDonald did his senior season.

Over the next three weeks, honors kept arriving at his doorstep. He was named to the College Hockey News All-American and Inside College Hockey All-American First Teams, but he was recognized for his efforts off the ice as well, becoming one of 15 Colgate men’s hockey players to make the ECAC All-Academic Team.

McIntyre’s road to Starr Rink dominance began long before he arrived in Hamilton, when he was entertaining offers from schools located all around the country. Thankfully, he ultimately decided on Colgate.

“As I was visiting a good number of schools before my first year at Colgate, I knew I wanted to attend a school that had more than just a great hockey program,” McIntyre said. “Ultimately, I wanted to gain a prestigious degree while playing a high level of hockey, and after seeing Colgate’s campus, I knew this was the place I wanted to be for four years of my life. Also, I’m a small-town kid, so I like how small the campus and community is.”

McIntyre had a decent freshman campaign with 17 points on nine goals and eight assists, but in his sophomore year, he turned the ECAC on its head with 15 goals and 17 assists. However, his most impressive moments during that season was when he turned immortal during the ECAC Tournament quarterfinal round at Clarkson, which was ranked seventh in the country at the time and first in the ECACHL. The heavily favored Clarkson team had just won the ECAC regular season title and was coming off a two-week break, whereas the eighth-seeded Raiders had to claw for a 2-1 series win over ninth-seeded St. Lawrence in the first round. But Colgate, especially McIntyre, would not be denied. McIntyre scored four goals and one assist in the three-game series, which was won by Colgate, 2-1. In the deciding game three, he scored the gamewinner in double overtime to give Colgate a series-clinching 3-2 win, sending Colgate to the ECAC Frozen Four in Albany.

With the confidence provided by a successful ending to his season, McIntyre came into the 2008-2009 season ready to make some noise.

“I came into this season with a couple of things in mind,” McIntyre said. “For starters, I wanted to make better use of my speed and shoot the puck more often. I started the year doing those things and they seemed to be working, so I continued to do those things to the best of my ability. I also had great linemates in Brian Day and Peter Bogdanich. Without their vision and creativity I would not have been as successful as I was this season.”

As all these honors were arriving, the Colgate community wondered if McIntyre, whose NHL rights belong to the New Jersey Devils, would return for his senior year or make the jump to professional hockey. McIntyre cleared any doubts brought about by the rumoring.

“I never thought about it once,” McIntyre said. “Colgate is an amazing school, and I would never leave to give up wearing the Raider jersey for one last season. You only have four years to obtain a great degree as well as become friends with some of the most amazing people you will ever meet. When I do leave, it will be when I graduate, with some of the best classmates I could have ever hoped for in Jason Williams, Ethan Cox, Adam Corrin, Charles Long and Sean Carty. So I will be back for my senior season, and I’m already excited to get things going.”

Head coaches all around the conference, in light of the recognition the Ontario native has received in the postseason, are probably already looking for ways to stop him next year, putting an even greater target on his back than he had this season. McIntyre appears unfazed by this supposition.

“If I’m targeted next year, my linemates will be open more often to score goals,” McIntyre said. “Having a target on your back doesn’t change anything. I’m going to continue working hard, playing my game and hoping for the best. Hopefully, everything will work out just fine.”

Arguably, McIntyre’s greatest honor was given to him on April 4 at the team’s Annual Banquet, when he was announced as next season’s co-captain along with rising senior Ethan Cox. There will be two assistant captains in rising juniors Wade Poplawski and Brian Day. McIntyre shared his reaction to the news and hopes for next year.

“I’m excited,” McIntyre declared. “As a player and a leader all you can do is hope your teammates respect you as a player and a person, so when you have the honor to be a captain at such a fantastic hockey school, it’s great to know that you earned the respect of your coaches and peers. I have no doubt that we can go as far as we want with the guys we’ll have in our locker room next season. As long as we focus, work hard, and come together while holding each other accountable, we have a good shot at achieving greatness.”

McIntyre, as well as five of the top seven scoring forwards on the team last season, are returning for the 2009-10 campaign at Starr Rink. With a settled goalie situation and a slew of talented defensemen coming in, the boys from Hamilton should have an exciting campaign next season. However, an interesting side note will remain prevalent as Colgate fights for the ECAC crown: Can McIntyre do it again? Tune in next year to find out.