Yale Star Hopes For Playoff Run
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The most decorated blueliner in the long history of Yale Hockey will slip a Providence Bruins practice jersey over his shoulder pads for the first time at the Dunkin Donuts Center on Thursday morning.
O'Gara's first skate with the organization that drafted him before arriving at Yale comes after helping his school make the NCAA Tournament three times in four years, including a 2013 national championship.
His final college season came to an end Saturday night in Albany at the NCAA East Regional, and the Bruins were quick to get him signed. It's typical for signed players to work out the details of their spring college semester and graduate with the rest of their class in May, unless the post-season runs into the "Pomp and Circumstance."
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenseman could have signed before finishing his Yale career.
"Yale has allowed me to grow as a hockey player all four years that I was lucky enough to play here. That is what made staying for a fourth year so much easier. I was progressing and the Bruins organization knew that, and that's obviously what they want for their prospects," said O'Gara. "Playing for Coach Allain and all of the other staff members allowed me to be confident in the way that I play and work every day on the aspects that I needed to improve upon."
The senior from Nesconset, N.Y., is a two-time ECAC Hockey Defensive Defenseman of the Year recipient who was first-team All-America last year. He was one of Yale's two Hobey Baker candidates this year in addition to being a semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award (New England's top player). O'Gara, who is 13th at Yale in career points (51) by a blueliner, is also a two-time first-team All-ECAC and All-Ivy League selection.
"My focus now going to Providence is to just be a sponge and make as big an impact as possible for the team there. I want to learn as much as I can about the pro game from guys there who have a ton of experience," said O'Gara, who has been closely monitored by the Boston organization over the last four years. "I plan to make sure I get as much out of practicing, and hopefully playing with the team, as I can from now until what I hope is the end of a long playoff run."
The P-Bruins are in third place in the Atlantic Division of the AHL and next play Saturday night at Portland.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director – firstname.lastname@example.org