New hockey captains named for 2012-13 season
May 4, 2012 | Lynchburg, VA
"Andrew did a fantastic job supporting Joe (Smith) last year as assistant captain, and it's great to see him step up and become the captain this year," said head coach Kirk Handy. "He embodies everything we want out of a captain: he is a leader on and off the ice, he does well in the classroom, he is very involved with the student body at Liberty, and he understands what it takes to get us to the national tournament and to win a national championship."
McCombe, a forward and rising senior from London, Ontario, finished third on the team in both goals (17) and points (38). He is a kinesiology major.
Kuhn is a rising junior from Parry Sound, Ontario. The up-and-coming defenseman finished with two goals and 15 assists last year. He is also a kinesiology major.
"Jackson has one of the best attitudes I have ever seen," Handy said. "He is a strong student in the classroom, but he is also a really likable guy who has the ability to lead by example and does a fantastic job at that."
The team selected McCombe and Kuhn as the hardest-working players the past two years, according to Handy.
"I am extremely honored and I have some pretty big shoes to fill," McCombe said. "I'm just really looking forward to the opportunity that is put in front of me."
He said one of his favorite sayings is "hard work always beats talent unless talent has hard work."
"It's one thing to have talent, but the hard work has to be there first and foremost, he said.
Kuhn added: "We want to make sure that a lot of the young guys can look to our seniors and hopefully us as captains and see a hard work ethic that is unparalleled in the league."
After finishing 10th in the final American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) rankings and qualifying for the national tournament for the fifth time in six years since moving up to Division I in 2006, expectations are high for the team as a whole.
"This season we didn't really finish the way we wanted to but we did a lot of good things for our program," McCombe said. "We took it to a new level, and I think we want to pick up where we left off."
The schedule for 2012-13 is still being finalized but a few games of note include matchups with Delaware (2012 Division I National Champion), Oakland (national runner-up), a first-ever trip to Arizona State, and a meeting with Adrian College in a rematch of their second-round game at the national tournament.
McCombe will have a little break from hockey this summer as he marries his fiancée, Stacy Christiaans, who was named a second team All-American in leading the women's Division I hockey team to a top 10 national finish and was recently honored as Co-Female Athlete of the Year by Liberty University Club Sports.
B.J. Williams, Staff Writer