February 13, 2014

Quick and Pöck in Sochi

Minutemen hockey players vie for Olympic Gold

Two former Minutemen hockey players, goalie Jonathan Quick and defenseman Thomas Pöck, will be vying for medals at the 22nd Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. They are two of four UMass hockey players to compete in the Olympics. Justin McCarthy and Jon Lyons were both members of Team USA that won silver at the first Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France, in 1924.

This is the second Olympics for both Quick and Pöck. Quick, who plays for the Los Angeles Kings, was a member of the 2010 silver-medal winning American team. He will share goalie duties in Sochi with Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres and Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings.

Pöck played on the Austrian National team in 2002, and will once again represent his home country as the Austrian team returns to the Olympics after failing to qualify in 2006 and 2010.

During his two-year career at UMass Quick led the Minutemen to their first NCAA tournament in 2006-07 and was named a second team All American that year. He was drafted by the Kings in 2005 and left UMass after his sophomore year. He went on to play for the Reading Royals of the ECHL and Manchester Monarchs of the AHL before being called up permanently to the Kings during the 2008-09 season. In 2012, he led the Kings to the Stanley Cup and won the Conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player in the postseason.

Pöck was a 2004 All American and the first Minutemen Hobey Baker finalist. He finished his UMass career with 44 goals and 58 assists. He signed as a free agent in 2004 with the New York Rangers and played parts of five seasons in the NHL with the Rangers and the New York Islanders. He has played in Europe since 2009 and currently plays for KAC Klagenfurt in Austria.