While hockey always has been a major part of his life, for Yale junior forward Clinton Bourbonais, science hasn’t been far behind.
His father, Frank, is a biochemist, and while other kids were at home playing video games, Clinton was at his father’s office playing with microscopes and petri dishes.
“My dad definitely had a huge impact on my interest in science,” Bourbonais said. “Then in high school in my AP biology class I had to do several research papers so I did a lot of reading on different areas of science. I was really fascinated by anything with the nervous system, especially with how it relates to the ability of people to move their arms and legs.”
As a biomedical engineering major, Bourbonais, a Dexter, Michigan native, ideally wants to work on producing prosthetic appendages that will work with nervous systems and allow natural movements. He is taking his first step toward that goal as an intern this summer for Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Boston.
“I am excited for this opportunity because it will be my first real career-oriented job,” Bourbonais said. “It will really open my eyes to the field. Recently with research done at Brown University they were able to have a paraplegic woman pick up a coffee cup just by using her mind. It is amazing the strides that have been taken in the field and to be able to help people like that would be a dream come true.”
For the time being, Bourbonais has his focus on the ice as he hopes to lead his team back to the NCAA tournament after a one-year absence. He has 12 points on two goals and 10 assists for the Bulldogs, but knows he can always improve.
“The area I need to improve the most is scoring goals,” Bourbonais said. “I need to do a better job of getting open, and then taking shots when I do get open. I have been working on it, though, so hopefully there are good things to come.”
The Bulldogs enter this weekend’s games at Union and Rensselaer with a 13-7-3 record and in second place in ECAC Hockey.
“This year there have been some bumps in the road and we just need to be more consistent,” Bourbonais said. “Our first goals are to win the ECAC Hockey and Ivy League titles. Then we want to make it down to Atlantic City [N.J.] for the ECAC Hockey tournaments and ultimately qualify for the NCAA tournament.”
• Quinnipiac faces off against St. Lawrence and Clarkson this weekend looking to improve its current unbeaten streak to 23 games, which would move then into a tie for the seventh-longest streak in Division I men’s college hockey history. The Bobcats are 20-0-3 during the current run which spans all the way back to Nov. 6. During the streak, Quinnipiac has allowed more than two goals only one time. Rensselaer has the longest all-time streak when it went 38 games without losing from Nov. 24, 1984 to Nov. 16, 1985 during a time when it was led by former NHL All-Star and current Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates.
• Northeastern’s Kevin Roy leads the nation’s freshmen in scoring with 32 points on 17 goals and 15 assists for an average of 1.28 points per game. Among all players, Roy is 10th in the nation in points per game and third in the nation in goals per game at 0.68. Miami’s Riley Barber is second in the nation among freshmen with 30 points on 12 goals and 18 assists, while Bentley’s Andrew Gladiuk is third with 28 points on 12 goals and 16 assists.
• Ten NCAA men’s hockey student-athletes who excel both on and off the ice were recently selected as finalists for the 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence — community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four in Pittsburgh on April 11 and 13. The finalists are: Brett Beebe, Western Michigan; Danny Biega, Harvard; Kyle Bonis, Ferris State; Stephen Carew, Air Force; Alex Gerke, Connecticut; Ben Hanowski, St. Cloud State; Brendan Jamison, Robert Morris; Brandon Nunn, Holy Cross; Cheyne Rocha, Army; Steven Spinell, Miami (Ohio).
Wisconsin and Minnesota will play at Soldier Field on Sunday which will mean the Badgers will have competed in three of the four home facilities for NFC North teams — the others being the Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field; and the Detroit Lions, Ford Field. … Niagara needs three points in its final six games to win the regular-season title and could wrap things up as early as this coming weekend when its squares off with Robert Morris. … Miami and Notre Dame play a pair of contests this weekend with the RedHawks holding a 10-1-1 advantage in the past 12 meetings. … Notre Dame has not been shut out this season. … Denver, Minnesota State, Nebraska-Omaha and St. Cloud State all have posted four sweeps of WCHA opponents this season, most of anyone in the league. … Michigan Tech is 6-4-1 since the Christmas break with all four losses coming by one goal. … St. Cloud State defenseman Nick Jensen moved into second on the school’s all-time chart with 64 career assists. … Canisius owns the nation’s top penalty kill unit, killing 91.0 percent of power plays this season (101 of 111). … With a 1-0 victory against New Hampshire on Wednesday, Providence snapped a streak of three consecutive ties. … Brown is 3-0-1 in its past four games, while outscoring its opponents 10-2. … In its first 18 games this season, Bentley scored less than two goals only once, but in its past nine games it has failed to reach that plateau five times.