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HAWK TALK
Nothing Short of a Goal

As Joel Laing ’00 likes to say, he came to Rensselaer on a “blind mission.”   He wasn’t heavily recruited by any school four years ago. But that mission turned into one of many accomplishments at Rensselaer when the recent graduate with a 3.97 grade-point average was named the GTE Academic All-America of the Year for the 1999-2000 fall/winter season by the Sports Information Directors of America. In addition to his national academic recognition, Laing set several school records this hockey season and was a finalist for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award as the top player in U.S. college hockey.   

Laing, who graduated this year with his bachelor’s degree from the Lally School of Management and Technology, came here from Saskatchewan, Canada, with a fellow freshman goalie. The two split the duties for the first two-and-a-half seasons. Then in December 1998, Laing took over the starting role with a 50-save performance in the championship game of the RPI/Marine Midland Bank Holiday Tournament. He has defined his leadership role in hockey ever since.   

Laing started 89 of 93 games, posting a 52-31-6 record. Last year, he tied the school’s single season record for shutouts in a season. And this year, he posted a 17-7-2 record with a school record six shutouts.   

Pete Gardiner ’00, Laing’s classmate and teammate, was chosen to the 1999-2000 Winter Men’s At-Large GTE Academic All-America University Division Third Team.   

The Toronto, Ont., native graduated with a bachelor’s this year with a 3.84 cumulative grade-point average in management information systems. A right wing, Gardiner tallied 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points in 36 games this season. He finished third on the team in goals and set a school record for games played in a career with 144.

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