Published: October 2, 2015
After no support from The University for more than a year, the club ice hockey team is back and ready to play a full season on the ice.
Last year, the team played a shortened season due to an event that happened two years ago involving underage drinking at a hockey party. The team underwent the process of justifying reinstatement to The University, and the team is hoping to have a successful first full-season back.
“Last year we had to deal with the shortened season. Basically, every year is a 20-game season,” Senior captain Gregg Daley said. “Last year, we were only able to play 10 games. Neil and I basically gave a presentation to the dean, pleading our case as to why we should be reinstated.”
Daley, who is also the team’s treasurer, said the shortened season from a year ago negatively impacted the team in more than one way.
“Well, from a physical standpoint, we were more out of shape than other teams. Other teams were playing for two months by the time we got on the ice,” Daley said. “It also affected our team chemistry, because we did not really meet each other until we started getting together to have team meetings. It took us a lot longer to develop chemistry.”
Now that the suspension has been lifted, the morale of the hockey team is higher than it has ever been. The team now has the opportunity to compete for a full season, and they have some big goals they want to accomplish.
“It is an amazing feeling. It is incredibly different now that we are actually sanctioned by the league and will be playing in a lot more games that mean a lot,” Daley said. “Our big goal is to go to nationals. This is the first year we have a chance to win the division and go to nationals, so I would say that is our biggest goal.”
Senior Neil Jacobsen, president of the team, said the shortened season was something the team was able to learn from.
Jacobsen noted community service was part of the process to get reinstated, as well as the aforementioned presentation. Despite the unfortunate circumstance, the team is now stronger because of it.
Although last season was shorter due to the suspension, it was far from a lost season. Jacobsen said the few games that the team played were invaluable in being prepared for this season.
“A bunch of the first-year students did not know what happened and why we were having a shortened season,” Jacobsen said.
“We really were not sure if we were going to have a team, so we wanted to get the team back and everybody on the same page.
We are very proud that we had at least some time last year to have half a season, and although it was short, last season was important to get a bunch of the new players involved. We were also able to get more accustomed to everyone’s playing style, which is a big thing too.”
Jacobsen echoed Daley’s statement about the team’s chemistry, saying the boys are just ready to play some hockey.
“The chemistry and morale is great,” Jacobsen said. “We are definitely more excited than we were last year, because we are in an actual league this year. We have a very positive outlook on this year, and we are 1-0 so far, so that is always good. We are very excited.”
The team has six homes games in October. The team’s next game is Saturday versus Bloomsburg University at Revolution Ice Centre.