Two Ex-Pinkerton Icemen Now Soaring as BC Eagles

The Pinkerton Academy ice hockey program has had some exciting and talented players on its rosters in its relatively short history. But few were as exciting or as skilled as Zach Sanford and J.D. Dudek.

And those two former Astro standouts have now been reunited at Boston College, where they’re both members of longtime coach Jerry York’s strong 2015-16 Eagles’ hockey squad.

Sanford – who played three seasons at Pinkerton and enjoyed a dominant, 69-point campaign there in 2011-12 before moving on to junior hockey – was a second-round draft choice of the Washington Capitals in the 2013 National Hockey League entry draft.

The BC sophomore forward attended the Caps’ development camps during the summers of 2013 and 2014, and played the 2013-14 season with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League.

Sanford, who like Dudek grew up in Auburn, then moved on to BC for the 2014-15 college season. He played in all 38 of the Eagles’ contests tallying 24 points, including seven goals and 17 assists. The ex-Astro stalwart also collected nine points in 22 Hockey East contests as a freshman, and wound up with a strong plus 10 plus-minus ranking.

This winter as a BC sophomore, Sanford – who is enrolled in the college’s Carroll School of Management – had played in all of his team’s first 38 games through the end of last week and was averaging a point per game with 13 goals and 25 assists for 38 points.

At that point, the Pinkerton graduate led the 26-7-5 Eagles with his 25 assists, was third in points, and sat tied for third on the squad with a plus 24 rating.

Among Sanford’s top individual performances for the BC crew were a three-point game in a 5-0 blanking of Colorado College, three assists each in contests against Notre Dame and Providence, and two goals and a helper against Merrimack College.

This winter, Sanford was joined in Boston College garb by smooth right winger Dudek, who played two years on the Pinkerton varsity hockey team before moving on to two fine seasons at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden.

After graduating from Kimball Union and playing junior hockey briefly, Dudek became a sixth-round draft choice of the New Jersey Devils in round six of the 2014 NHL entry draft.

The skilled young forward – who is the son of former Plymouth State College football star and Heisman Trophy finalist Joe Dudek – played with the Dubuque Fighting Saints and the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League during the 2014-15 season before moving on to BC.

Dudek is studying for an education degree at Boston College, and in the aforementioned 38 Eagles’ games the former Astro star had played in 31 and tallied three points.

In mid-March, the slick forward notched a goal and an assist in a 4-3 nipping  of Vermont, and Dudek earned his first conference award of the season after being named Hockey East Rookie of the Week.


CAPTION: Former Pinkerton Academy hockey star Zach Sanford has shown why the Washington Capitals hold him in such high esteem this season at Boston College.


CAPTION: Ex-Pinkerton hockey stalwart J.D. Dudek has shown quite a bit as a freshman on the BC Eagles’ contingent this winter. Photos courtesy of John Quackenbos