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Jacobson ’15 shoots into top 10 rookie scorers

Sports Staff Writer
Friday, January 27, 2012

Men’s ice hockey forward Ryan Jacobson ’15 played a major part in the team’s 4-2-2 record over winter break, scoring five goals in the team’s eight games. He is currently the team’s second-leading scorer and is tied for second in points. In a 4-1 game against St. Lawrence on Jan. 15, Jacobson scored his eighth of the season, which propelled him into Brown’s all-time top 10 goals scored by a rookie. For his offensive contributions as a rookie, The Herald has named Jacobson Athlete of the Break.

The Herald: Why did you decide to start playing junior hockey after high school, and do you think that decision has changed your adjustment experience into college hockey?

Jacobson: Yeah, juniors was great for me to kind of get a feel for the college style of play. (College play is) not that much different than juniors. When you’re from around here, there’s a lot of prep school kids that move on to college and that type of thing — they get seen by a lot of schools. They’re very visible. I’m from Denver — it’s harder for schools to come watch you, really. So what they’ve done is they’ve developed a league, and they let all the players come together in one spot. And then every school can come watch them from there. And it makes things a lot easier for the teams, for schools, players.

How exactly did you end up at Brown?

Coming out of the (United States Hockey League), you have a lot of options. It’s a pretty highly-touted league, with all the NHL draft picks. And since I was on the All-Star team, I had a lot of options. I could choose from a lot of schools. I was committed to (the) Air Force for a while — Air Force Academy, for like a year — and then I de-committed to come to Brown. Because that’s just a way better fit for me. I didn’t want to do the military lifestyle — I did for a little, and then I just reconsidered, and I didn’t want to do it. So when I de-committed, I was looking for another school. I wanted to go to an Ivy League school, because education is very important to me.

What hopes do you have for the team’s current season?

We have high expectations, around the locker room. … I think we have a team that has the makings of a championship, and we can definitely win the ECAC Championship this year. We have beaten all the top teams — Union, Cornell. All the guys that are one, two or three, we’ve beaten all of them. So we definitely have what it takes to get there. We just have to play more consistently. So I think my goal would be ECAC Championship this year.

How does it feel to now be in Brown’s all-time top 10 goals scored by a rookie, with a fair amount of season still to go? Are you trying to move up that list even further?

Oh, of course, I’m definitely trying to do that, move up. I didn’t really think about it or know about it until someone kind of told me, and they were like, “Congrats.” But I came in, and I wanted to help the team win, and if it’s scoring goals, I’ll do that, whatever it takes. So it’s nice to be in the top 10, but it’s a small accomplishment for what I want — a big accomplishment, like maybe winning a championship. … I am very, you know, I guess, humbled by it. I don’t know what to say.

You seem to be on a roll scoring lately. Have you been doing anything differently recently?

I got off to a slow start, probably. I didn’t put up the numbers that I wanted to or maybe have the offensive production that I wanted to at the start of the year. And then the coach kind of mixed up who we were playing with, like lines and that type of stuff. And the line that I’m on now, we have pretty good chemistry, and we kind of know where we each are on the ice. It really helps. Our style of play really complements each other, so we’ve started to produce a lot more offensively.

How did you get into playing hockey in the first place?

I guess at three I started skating. And by four and a half, five, I already had a stick and was playing two years above me because that’s the only age group that they’d really allow. I snuck in somehow… You mentioned juniors, junior hockey. So, in junior hockey, you live in like a housing family — someone takes you in, and you live there. You become part of the family for the season or whatever. So I did that when I was younger. All the way, growing up, I housed kids — my family housed players from teams in Spokane, (WA). So I always had the older brother. I had just a different experience because I had those guys living at our house. So it’s kind of funny to be on the other side of things, when I actually went to juniors. We used to go to their games all the time, and that probably got me.

Are there any players who you looked up to growing up, or even now whose style you try to emulate?

I wouldn’t say that I try to emulate anyone’s style. I could probably think of some, but just a hockey role model that I still look up to today — his name is Kurt Sauer. He played in the NHL for a long time, for the Phoenix Coyotes, Colorado, Anaheim, just a bunch of different teams. He lived at my house when he was in juniors, like what I talked about before. We housed him when he played in Spokane. So he then helped me out a lot. He knows the game, has a lot of experience. So if I ever have a question, I always talk to him. And we still keep a very close relationship. When he was in Denver, I used to babysit his kids, that type of thing. So we’re very close family friends still, and I’ve definitely looked up to him as a role model. 

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