Club Sport Spotlight: Ice Hockey, Men’s Rugby look to improve on last year’s seasons

It seems like every year, you have some athlete foolishly proclaiming that their team is going undefeated, to the playoffs, or winning a championship even though none of these things has happened for that team in the previous decade. While there were no declarations of championship gold, you can add the Club Ice Hockey team to the list of teams here at Mines with high expectations. After finishing 14-12 in American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) play last year, the team appears poised for a breakout.

According to Senior defenseman Kyle Little, “This year we should be the best Mines club hockey team yet.”

And while the expectations are to be the best team yet, this goal isn’t as farfetched as one might think. According to Little, the experience-laden team has all club members from last year’s squad returning and has added some “good freshman, as well as sophomores and graduate students that didn’t try out last year.”

This experience should come in handy when finishing games, something the team struggled to do last year, according to Senior goaltender Daniel Suhr.

“We’ve always been good at the fundamentals, but we’ve had problems in the past finishing games. With an additional year of experience, as well as two quality coaches to push us, there’s no reason that we can’t improve on last year’s record and be ranked in the ACHA.”

Although players the players believe one thing, it’s often difficult to get the fans on board as well. That’s not the case this year, as team cookie lady/photographer/cheerleader extraordinaire seems to echo both Little and Suhr’s sentiment.

“They’ve added a lot of new talent and two coaches with impressive hockey resumes, so they’re definitely headed in the right direction.”

Come support the team in their first game of the year at the Edge Ice Area, located in Littleton, this Friday, September 30th, at 10 p.m. against Metro State. Admission is free and the entertainment value alone makes that free admission worth every penny.

Men’s Rugby positioned for bounce back season

The transition for a program to move up a division in intercollegiate athletics is never an easy one, and the Men’s Club Rugby team found that out the hard way last year. After moving up from Division II to Division I competition, the team faltered, finishing with a 2-4 record in the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union (ERRFU). After USA Rugby changed the rules to have rugby clubs participate in the division concurrent with the school’s football team, the rugby team looks to get back on track.

“Three years ago, we went to the national championship, and two years ago we went to the western regional tournament, so last year was a little disappointing,” says senior captain Andy Maul. “We have a pretty young team, but should be improved. Experience helps a lot, and a lot of the guys who were injured last year are healthy again.”

In addition to experience and health, the team has a quite a bit of talent, according to Maul.

“Our forwards are the unsung heroes, much like the offensive line in football. Senior Ian Squier and sophomore P.J. Sullivan are some of the best in league. At our skill positions, senior Brendan Fetter is very talented as well.”

Maul is excited about some new players, noting that Nick Jones, Zane Sigafoos, and Aaron Troyer should be integral parts of the team.

With all of this in mind, the team should be able to wear down opponents with their overall team speed and endurance, finishing matches off in strong fashion.

Their first game of the season is a league contest against New Mexico this upcoming Saturday, October 1st at 1 p.m. on the North Intramural Field. The team lost to them last year in New Mexico, so the team is looking to avenge the loss and get the season started off on the right foot.

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