Growing up in Brentwood, New Hampshire, about 15 miles south of the University of New Hampshire campus, Cy LeClerc has fond memories of attending games at the Whittemore Center.
“I went to the games as a kid, loved the atmosphere and the fans,” LeClerc said. “I liked watching Max Gildon and Tyler Kelleher.”
Now a freshman at New Hampshire, LeClerc is creating different memories, doing so on the ice as a key contributor to a program that is trying to head back in the right direction.
Despite interest from other schools, LeClerc always knew playing college hockey for the Wildcats was what he wanted to do.
“It was my dream to go to UNH and ever since I got an offer, it was 100 percent going there. [I] committed three years ago,” LeClerc said. “Couldn’t be happier with my decision, I always wanted to go here.”
A left-shot natural centerman, LeClerc came to New Hampshire after a successful one-year stint with the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League. A 77-point campaign last season was good enough for third in the league, three points back of Ryan O’Neill a freshman at St. Thomas.
“The competitiveness of the teams and college hockey, there’s no bad player. Just got to keep working and fit into spots,” LeClerc said of his college hockey experience so far. “Maybe you’re going into the corners more, maybe you’re playing wing instead of center. You’ve got to keep competing and take advantage of your opportunities.”
LeClerc has certainly taken advantage of his opportunities. His play has been one of the bright spots for New Hampshire, leading the team in goals with 11 and points with 17. Nationally, only four freshman have more goals than LeClerc. None of those four playing inside Hockey East.
It didn’t take long for LeClerc to find success, earning his first career collegiate hockey goal in his very first game, a 4-3 victory over Clarkson on Oct. 7.
“It was a relief, it’s always good to start off with a goal in the first game,” he said. “I was honestly surprised to get one which was awesome to get. It definitely helped me settle into the team and into the season, it was great.”
For many years, winning seasons were the norm in Durham, especially under long-time coach Dick Umile. Now a distant memory, the Wildcats have not finished…