Editor's Note: This article was written and used for the Dartmouth/St. Lawrence-Clarkson Game Program this past weekend at Thompson Arena.
Seated in the last row of section 7, Mark Goggin looked out onto the ice surface of Thompson Arena. He wore a blue down jacket, khakis and a pair of brown loafers.
His feet placed on the seat backs of the row in front of him and his arms stretched out behind him, Goggin began to find a position to get comfortable as he would describe his collegiate career.
As he began to talk there was a mixture of confidence, frustration and understanding to his words.
Confidence in his skills as a player. Frustration regarding the circumstances around his Dartmouth career. Understanding that the current situation may not be what's best for him, but what's best for the team.
because I know I'm a good player and I could be playing. I've been working
hard, but there is no guy out there that isn't doing his job and the team is
winning so there is no need to make changes," he said.
In the midst of one of the program's best seasons in recent memory, Goggin has been unable to crack the 18-skater lineup during his senior campaign. A situation that may have caused friction for other players, the Glen Ellyn, Ill., native has made considerable effort to moving forward and remaining a great teammate.
"Everyone on this team is a good guy and I want to support them. It's actually been a pretty fun year," he added. "I come to the rink every day not worried about where I'm going to be in the lineup. Every day is fun for me. I get here and try and keep the mood light while working hard."
However, playing time aside, the biggest transition for Mark this season may be the absence of his older brother Connor Goggin '12 from the Dartmouth lineup.
Teammates in the Big Green sweater for three years, the two brothers were part of a family tradition that has seen three generations of players suit up in the Green and White.
Connor, a defenseman, and Mark, a winger, played alongside one another from 2009 through 2012 before an odd series of events at Brown's Meehan Auditorium on a Saturday night last February ended the on-ice fraternal bond.
A hit in the neutral zone midway through the first period left Mark with a separated left shoulder and headed to the locker room.
Unfortunately, that was the last time he saw game action.
While being tended to by head athletic trainer Jeff Frechette in the locker room, Mark looked up to see another familiar face enter.
As he sat in his locker, unable to take off his own equipment, he looked up to see Connor swing open the door and walk in.
"I started laughing and just said to him 'what did you do?'", the younger Goggin asked of his brother who has received a game misconduct and five-minute major for a similar hit in the neutral zone a mere 59 seconds of gameplay after Mark had been injured.
"The funny part was that our parents were late in coming to the game that night. By the time they got there, Connor was in a suit, I was in a sling and we both were in the stands. My parents, cousins and grandparents walked in and were a bit surprised to see us there. It really was a hell of a five minutes, honestly."
The injury that ended his junior season that night in Providence was all the more frustrating after he had come back from a broken wrist that had sidelined him for the entire year before.
Now, as his time in Hanover dwindles down, Goggin knows that his playing career hasn't been nearly what he expected of it, thanks in large part to the unfortunate injuries he sustained. However, when he talks about the four classmates he went through everything with, there is something in his voice that tells you he is okay.
"Those four guys have been the best part. We are a group of five that came in together and has gone through it all," he said of his senior classmates.
"We're the closest class by far. The other groups don't have the same opportunity to bond like we have because they have nine or 10 guys. Obviously they're friends, but we are five guys that have lived with each other or next to each for the last three years.
"There's just something we have as friends that I don't think the other classes can match," he remarked.
With Dartmouth putting the youngest team in ECAC Hockey on the ice on a nightly basis, it's good to know that the senior leadership off the ice is as tight as ever.
by Pat Salvas