Underclassmen propel ice hockey team to fast start

Ryan Disdier
Sports Co-Editor

The men’s ice hockey team entered this season seeking revenge after losing in the post-season a year ago.

Last season, the team reached the Greater Northeast Hockey Championship game in which they lost to Rutgers University.
So far, the team has done well gaining retribution.

The team currently boasts a 4-1-1 conference record and a 6-1-2 record overall.

Junior Giles Bradford said the team’s on-ice chemistry has been a chief catalyst for the early success.

“So far this year this is one of our second biggest freshman class this year. Last year we lost about six of our seniors and the chemistry on the ice on this year is exceptional, exceeding expectations. On top of that, everything is just going smoothly,” Bradford said.

Moving forward, Bradford said the team needs to continue being disciplined, both on and off the ice.

“The main key for us to continue winning would be to keep our discipline up by being on time for practice, working together as a team, doing community service and just keeping the family strong,” Bradford said.

Phillip Dunbar, a graduate student on the team, noted the team was proud of its efforts last year despite coming up short in the championship game.

“We came into the season a lot of freshman a lot of new players since our program got reinstated two years ago,” Dunbar.

“There wasn’t really a lot to work off of. We started brand new, as half the team was entering their first season. We ended up playing pretty well. We got to the playoffs and made it to the finals, where we ended up losing to Rutgers 3-2. That was disappointing. But looking at where we came from, we took it as a positive.”

Dunbar also noted the team is shifting conferences this year, which warrants new opponents.

“We’re in another conference, so now we play teams like Bloomsburg (University) and Lafayette (College), Princeton (University), Upenn (University of Pennsylvania), Rutgers (University) and teams like that,” Dunbar said.
While the team features a bevy of talent, Dunbar echoed Bradford’s words, saying the younger members of the team figure to play a pivotal role as the season continues.

“The sophomores really stepping up is going to be an x-factor. They didn’t really know a lot last year the game speed. Them stepping up can really change our team,” Dunbar said. “I think that’s why we’ve had so much success thus far. Chris Marsmen played great, Ryan Kelly … they’re really stepping up.”

Dunbar also mentioned he believes the team’s first-year class “is much better than the average freshman class.”
While the underclassmen are finding ample amounts of success, Dunbar noted it is a microcosm of the team’s leadership.

“The captain of the team, Maciej Wesolowski, has done a great job thus far in trying to prepare the team on and off the ice, showing a leadership role and emphasizing how much work is required,” Dunbar said.
Dunbar said the hope is for the team to get back to the championship game this year.

“We played a little bit over half of the league. I’m hoping we can do really well this year, go far and do what we did last year,” Dunbar said.

The team returns home on Dec. 4, while they play strictly on the road during the month of November.

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