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The Russ Report: Breakdown on Returning Ole Miss Hockey Players

By Russ Eddins

Journalism Student

The 2023-24 Ole Miss Hockey season starts in seven days. In preparation, I’ve already discussed several new players and this week I’ll go over some of the returning players. 

Matt Warnecke

Last season, Warnecke was a bright spot in a dark season. He played 15 games, scored six goals, and had five assists for 11 points – 5.53 of the 39 goals scored by Ole Miss last season were created by Warnecke.

Four of his six goals were from the power play. Head Coach Josh Herbert described Warnecke as a solid two-way player and one of the team’s “top hockey minds.” 

Last season, Warnecke won 58.44% of faceoffs, the highest faceoff percentage among qualified skaters (minimum 150 faceoffs).

Joseph Robinson

Robinson is currently the IR. When he returns, the team will get a major goal-scoring threat back.

Last season, Robinson played in 11 games, scored four goals, and had four assists for eight points.

He had 16 penalty minutes and drew 16 penalty minutes, so whenever he went to the penalty box, he took an opposing player with him. 

Cooper Fox

Fox played in all but two games for the Ice Rebs last season (16 games). He scored five goals for five points (he had no assists). 

He is a sophomore this year. Coach Herbert said Fox’s experience from last year will come in handy this year. 

Fox is a solid skater with good hands and a great shot. He is one of the most exciting players on the team. 

Richard Price

Price, a sophomore, is one of the team’s hardest-working players. 

He didn’t light up the score sheet in his first year, but with 32 hits in 16 games (tied for first on the team), he made his presence felt all over the ice. 

He is one of the team’s top players. According to Coach Herbert, Price has “taken a lot of accountability on himself.” 

Price has an outstanding, violent shot. He is quick and has a good size; I see him becoming a goal-scoring threat this season. 

Shane Brait

Brait is a leader on the team and players seem to take to him and follow his lead.

He’s an excellent faceoff winner (he won 57.02% of faceoffs last season). Brait scored two goals and had three assists for points last season, which is not bad considering he only played 12 games, but I know he will want to get those numbers up this season, and I fully expect him to do so. 

Austin Pellegrino

Pellegrino shared the team lead in hits with 32. He also won just over half of his faceoffs last season. 

Herbert described Pellegrino as a “sandpaper guy,” and because he grinds for the puck and wears down the opponent the description is accurate. He’s a very intense player, which is vital for the team. 

Aiden MacLean

MacLean ended last season very strongly. He racked up 18 hits in 10 games and stayed out of the box. 

Defense coach James Erwin said, “His positivity toward the end of last season was beneficial,” and his vision and backward skating have improved significantly. MacLean will be an excellent asset for the defense this season. 

Cole Waddell

Waddell is a big guy. He totaled 22 hits in 14 games last season. 

His size makes him an intimidating defenseman. He had 16 penalty minutes last year, so he could work on that. Waddell is probably the team’s best defenseman going into the season. 

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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