The Mines Club Hockey team has been back in action recently, playing games against New Mexico and Mesa. The upperclassmen continue to lead the team and the freshmen get settled in.
While the team’s record is sitting just under 0.500, the Orediggers are only a quarter of the way through the season, and they have turned some tough losses into learning experiences.
“I think these games will prove beneficial in the long run so that everybody gets a taste of how it feels to lose,” confided Brendan Aleksivich, Club Ice Hockey President. “Then we can make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
While the team has been notoriously slow-starting in seasons past, the Orediggers are definitely upping the intensity this year. Right now they are “playing well and ready to go into a big stretch of games against some good teams before the end of the semester” says Joseph Millar. This excelling performance as the season goes on is no doubt due to the team getting more comfortable in their roles, especially those new to the program.
“There are a lot of tremendously talented freshmen that are getting settled in,” Aleksivich pointed out, also stating that, “[the freshmen] are starting to have bigger and bigger impacts in our games.”.
As one of the few seniors on the team, and the Club Hockey president, Aleksivich is trying to set an example of the mentality that it takes to win in the league drawing from his experience as an underclassman, sharing that he knows he did not play to his full potential because he had a lot to learn about pace of play and physicality at the collegiate level which is much more competitive then the high school level that freshmen are used to.
“This is probably the most talented and deepest team we’ve seen for the club” said Aleksivich, despite the lack of collegiate experience for the large freshmen class in the program.
“The deeper lineup will give us a better chance to beat teams like Air Force and Mesa coming up,” shared Millar.
In addition to a deep lineup, the team’s new coach has another method for beating teams like Air Force; pure conditioning.
“The new coach has increased the intensity of practices which allowed us to increase team speed and conditioning,” shared Millar, adding that “conditioning is crucial” in the games against Air Force, an opponent that the Orediggers will come head-to-head with five times this season.
In the end, the team spirit and camaraderie will be what separated the Orediggers from the competition.
“We’re all here because we love the game,” said Aleksivich. “Hockey might be the ultimate team game. Everybody plays nearly equal time. Everybody plays offense and defense. It takes everybody on the team every night to be successful.”
Be sure to check out the Orediggers on the ice as they continue their season and cement their place in Mines Club Ice Hockey history.