Samuels-Thomas looks to break out

Bryan Lipiner

Jordan Samuels-Thomas has always called Connecticut his home. The junior was born in West Hartford and spent time in Windsor throughout his childhood. After high school, he was drafted in the seventh round by the now-defunct Atlanta Thrashers, while also playing for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League in 2008-2009.
Samuels-Thomas attended Bowling Green University beginning in the 2009-2010 season, where he led the Falcons in points with 25. In his sophomore year, Samuels-Thomas again led the squad in points, this time with 21.

Yet, after his sophomore year, Samuels-Thomas made the decision to transfer to Quinnipiac, citing various reasons such as being closer to home and playing under a prestigious coach.

“Coach (Rand) Pecknold has been at Quinnipiac for 19 years and his teams have been near the top of ECAC Hockey for a while now,” Samuels-Thomas said. “Quinnipiac is only 40 minutes from home, which is awesome since I’ve been away since I was 17.”

Currently, Samuels-Thomas is the only member of the Quinnipiac men’s or women’s ice hockey team to be a resident of Connecticut.

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Samuels-Thomas chose to redshirt his 2011-12 season, therefore rendering him ineligible to play. He was limited to the practice squad, and felt restricted at some points last winter.

“Last year was tough, for sure,” Samuels-Thomas said. “There were definitely a few depressing days. The coaches and the team did what they could to keep my spirits up. I wanted to play every game, especially the tight ones, hoping I could make a difference or make a play to contribute to a win.”

Yet, in his first contest with Quinnipiac, Samuels-Thomas didn’t waste any time in making a difference.

On Oct. 6 at 18:31 in the third period at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine, Jeremy Langlois won an offensive zone face-off . Samuels-Thomas received the puck, skated across the zone and ripped a shot past Black Bear goaltender Dan Sullivan for the 2-1 Quinnipiac lead.

His goal proved to be enough in the final 90 seconds, as the Bobcats walked away with their first win of the season over No. 15 Maine. Samuels-Thomas exited the ice with the game-winning goal against one of the top hockey programs in the United States.

“Scoring the game-winner against Maine was such a blessing.” Samuels-Thomas said. “Leading up to the game, I was praying every night that I could make a difference somehow. Scoring was about the only good thing I did [that night] so I thank God for putting me in the right spot.”

Since the beginning of the season, Samuels-Thomas has played on the second line with Jeremy Langlois and Travis St. Denis. The trio has combined for three goals when playing on the same line.

“Playing with Langer and Saint is great. Langer is such a dynamic player with a unique skill set. All he does is score,” Samuels-Thomas said. “Saint is a young guy but is a proven playmaker in junior hockey.”

When asked what his biggest ambition was when originally coming to Quinnipiac and his biggest ambition now, he responded with a having a successful career in Hamden.

“Coming here, my goal is to win,” Samuels-Thomas said. “We have a good team here and I really think we can compete for an ECAC Hockey as well as an NCAA Championship this season. I think everyone is really excited.”