Categorized | Sports

Ice hockey team slides into action this season

Chloe Burdette

Sports Editor

As The College of Wooster ice hockey team kicks off their official season on Friday, Oct. 26, the squad of 15 has been practicing for over a month to debut as a strong and powerful force in their division. As a club sports team at The College of Wooster, the team is not recognized as a varsity sport, but plays opponents at the Division-III level. The Fighting Scots ice hockey team is a representative of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and plays in the College Hockey East (CHE) division. 

Leonard Wine ’19, a senior member of the Fighting Scots ice hockey team and the president of the club, is excited for the season to officially start and to get support from his peers and student fans. “We are always excited to play home games because we recognize how much support we receive from our campus,” Wine stated. “Other club teams we play against simply don’t get as many or as dedicated fans at their games as we do.” To keep fans updated as much as possible about games and events, the ice hockey team runs their own social media accounts to provide information normally via Facebook events and Instagram posts. 

“We operate our own social media accounts, and have found that to be the most effective method of advertising our team events. That being said, there are support systems that the varsity programs on campus have access to that we would appreciate being able to use as well,” Wine added. The most significant disadvantage that club sports have when compared to varsity level sports is their lack of an athletic trainer, according to Wine. “Access to athletic trainers would be a huge step for us to reduce our injury risks,” he said.

When speaking of the team’s overall achievements, the team is talented on the ice. As Wine stated, the ultimate goal for the team is to win their division. “Our goal this year, as it is every year, is to win our division of College Hockey East,” said Wine. Specifically for this season, Wine added, “we believe that we have the talent and depth to achieve that goal. This past weekend, we travelled to play and win our first game against the University of Pitt-Greensburg, a team that competes a division ahead of us. We hope to use this upset victory to springboard our season against divisional opponents, starting this Friday against the University of Pitt-Bradford.” 

“It is important to note that although the team does allow all levels of experience to be welcomed to play, the coaching staff will make sure to only play the members who are experienced enough to prevent injury. “We need all potential new members to understand that hockey can be a dangerous sport, and players with low-levels of experience may not play in games until our team and coach feel that they can do so safely.” With that being said, the team encourages anyone to come out and practice with the team to get a feel of the intensity level the sport provides. “Our club is open to all members of the campus community, regardless of previous experience in the sport. Our practices are a great opportunity for students to introduce themselves to playing a new sport,” Wine said. 

Other members of the team have expressed their overall gratitude for the club sport on campus. Emma Hambright ’19, a two-sport varsity athlete along with her membership to the ice hockey team, is thankful for the team because of her opportunity to skate and play hockey — two activities she loves. “Being a part of the ice hockey team is a wicked awesome experience because, for me personally, it serves as a laid back change of pace from the normal rushing around during the academic day as well as a nice break in between my field hockey and lacrosse seasons,” Hambright stated. 

As far as being the only female player on the ice hockey team, Hambright is appreciative of the inclusivity that the ice hockey team promotes. However, Hambright does face some challenges. “Being a girl does put a target on my back at times, depending on the team we are playing. Opponents will definitely go in for the big hits more frequently when they see I’m a girl, but it’s something I’ve learned to avoid by just being quicker and maneuvering around opponents,” said Hambright. “The team is such a supportive group of guys that sees me as just another skater but always jumps to my defense if the other team starts targeting me.”

The Fighting Scots’ first home game of the year is Friday, Oct. 26 against the University of Pitt-Bradford. Free transportation will be provided via shuttle for all students at Babcock circle, starting 8:45 p.m. Also, on Friday, Oct. 26, the ice hockey team will be tabling in Lowry between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. as part of the annual canned food drive. Donations of non-perishable food items will be accepted at the table as well as at the game. All donations will be delivered to the Wayne County branch of People to People Ministries. Come support this worthy cause!

(Photo from Wooster Athletics)

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