Chronicle Athletes of the Week

Zach Smart

Antoinette Maldonado
Sport: Ice Hockey
Class: Freshman
Hometown: Glendora, Calif.
Major: Business

Maldonado has come right out of the gate and has become an essential component of the Bobcats’ offense. She’s currently leading the team in assists after assisting on freshman Nicolette Leone’s game-winning goal in Friday’s 1-0 victory over Union College.

Maldonado scored her first collegiate goal against Harvard on Nov. 4, and she followed that up with two assists against sixth-ranked Dartmouth. The week concluded with her being named to the ECACHL weekly honor roll. The freshman was pleased with this accolade, but in no way was she satisfied.

“Making the honor roll simply shows that I’m here to play,” Maldonado said. “Not many people here are from the West Coast, so it’s nice to represent and show others that it can be done,” the native of California said.

Describing the jump from high school to Division I hockey, Maldonado described the college game as “more disciplined and strict.”

“People in the league are bigger, stronger, and faster, so I had to grow fast. It was different in the beginning to learn how to play with systems, but I’ve managed to study the systems and show it on the ice,” Maldonado said.

Interesting Facts: Maldonado picked up roller hockey before ever stepping foot on the ice. At Charter Oak High School, she was a two sport All-American in both roller hockey and tennis. She was given a chance to represent the United States when she participated on Team USA in roller hockey at the World Championships. Maldonado previously played for the California Selects, which competes in the Whistler International All Star Hockey program.

Reid Cashman
Sport: Ice Hockey
Class: Junior
Hometown: Red Wing, Minn.
Major: Sociology

Cashman, a third-team All-American, has done a fine job captaining the Bobcats. The 2005 Atlantic Hockey Player of the Year has the team off to a sizzling start in the ECACHL, a much tougher conference. Cashman’s leadership on the ice has eased the transition to this year’s stiffer competition.

The Bobcats, picked to finish 12th in the preseason polls, are currently 2-2 in the ECACHL. Cashman is leading the team in scoring with 16 points on one goal and 15 assists. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound defenseman has certainly picked up where he left off last season, when he led all Division I defensemen in scoring.

“It’s been a great start (to the season),” Cashman said. “There’s been a lot of excitement around here, a lot of emotion. Obviously, we’d like to be a top-four team at the end of the year and get a first round bye. But we have 20 games left, and we realize that, and it’s going to be a tough battle ahead.”

Interesting Facts: Last season, Cashman became the first player in Quinnipiac history to be named as a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. The award honors the top Division I hockey player in the United States. Last season, Cashman led the Atlantic Hockey League in scoring, marking the first time in 18 years that a defenseman has led a conference in scoring.

Before arriving at Quinnipiac, Cashman established himself as the top defenseman in the United States Hockey League after his one-year stint with the Waterloo Blackhawks. He emerged into a highly sought after recruit, receiving interest from a number of premier programs, including the University of Denver, which has won back-to-back NCAA championships.