Cool as ice: Rowan's Dougherty heads to Europe as member of national select hockey team

Cool as ice: Rowan's Dougherty heads to Europe as member of national select hockey team

Sophomore Andrew Dougherty will spend his winter break in Europe as a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association Select Team. He's the first Rowan player to acheive the honor.

It makes sense that a young man from Lake Placid Drive ended up play college hockey.  Meet Andrew Dougherty.

Dougherty, or “Doc” as his teammates call him, was five years old when he received his first pair of skates.  Fifteen years later, Dougherty is representing Rowan University Club Hockey team as the first Rowan player chosen for the American Collegiate Hockey Association Select Team. 

The American Collegiate Hockey Association, a non-profit university club hockey league chooses the 23 best players from each division to play a tournament against the top players from Slovakia, Germany, Slovenia and Austria during Christmas break.  Dougherty, a sophomore exploratory studies major, represents one of 23 players from 19 teams in his division.

Dougherty, who will pay for the trip himself, needs to raise $2,000.  The Rowan Club Ice Hockey Team is accepting donations for Dougherty’s trip.

His selection to the team is a thrill, says Dougherty, who lives on a street in Erial that embodies rich hockey history. In 1980, the U.S. Olympic hockey team upset the Soviet Union and Sweden to win the gold medal in Lake Placid, NY.

“At first, it really did not hit me,” Dougherty says of being chosen for select team. “After a while though, I started to realize the significance of it and it was a humbling experience for me.”

Dougherty is the complete package on the ice, says Coach John Caulfield.  Dougherty’s 6-foot-3, 165-pound frame and skill set allow him to intimidate and outplay his opponents, his coach says.

“The first thing people notice about Doc is his size.  He is 6-foot-3, but skates even taller.  He has good speed, which allows him to stay with anyone on defense.  His speed also allows him to transition to offense very quickly and makes him difficult to cover.  He complements his speed with an on-point slap shot.  In Doc, you have complete player.”

Caulfield explains that Dougherty’s work ethic helps him make the most of his natural skills.

“As far as hockey goes, Doc works as hard in practice as he does in games. He and his teammates will participate in off the ice drills, dry land drills, and muscle work that complement their skills and improve their game.”Dougherty recognizes the help of his teammates and coach to get him to this point.  He explained that Caulfield’s good sense of humor, support for players, and passion for the game carry over into his game.  Caulfield has taught him how to stick to his game, learn from his mistakes, and to not do too much, Dougherty says.

“Coach Caulfield gave me the opportunity to play and continued to encourage me.  When our team is down, I sometimes try to do too much to get us back into it.  Coach taught me to play within myself and let the game come naturally.  When I do this, I play a lot better.”

His participation on the select team raises the profile of Rowan’s club hockey team, Dougherty maintains.

“This helps not only me, but, more importantly, the hockey program and school, too,” he says, adding that he would love to see hockey as a Division III sport at Rowan.