This past weekend at the Rostraver Ice Garden in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, the Edinboro hockey team made history with their first Tier 2 Championship.
Three years ago, David Goodwill, coordinator of campus programming and recreation here on campus, and current captain Andrew Chase got to work. Their journey hit a peak in Belle Vernon where they overcame third seed Alfred State and one seed Wooster, a team that beat them earlier this season. “Last year we took second, it was a hard loss, then [we] came back this year and we knew Wooster would be a team to beat. We were one and two and we battled back and forth all year.”
Chase continued, “That was the only league loss we had all year, a league loss against them in the beginning of the year.”
After starting the year with about 10 players (not enough for two full lines) the team was able to get some key pickups to deepen the bench.
As a program, Chase and newly acquired player and current manager of public relations Dan McClune understand they have to keep their eyes forward. Recent admission numbers showing a drop in students has Edinboro administration looking for areas to save money and the program fears for their team.
“SGA was a huge help this year (in regard to funding), but we went to the president’s meeting and he was already talking about cuts for next year,” Chase said.
McClune added, “Dave sort of made a promise that he would push for us.”
Chase elaborated: “He’s been an advocate since day one and he’s been a huge help. He helps me run it...he’s a huge hockey fan and he just wanted to see a program here.”
Numbers have been a concern, but with key additions throughout the year, the team was able to adjust throughout, bringing their total to 13 players, a number they hope they can continue to bring up.
“Basically, we want people to know we have a team and that we’re successful. We’re trying to get the name out there. We had a team for three years now and there’s still a lot of kids on campus that say, ‘what? We have a hockey team?,’” Chase joked.
In the end, there are going to be ups and downs, but Edinboro hockey has proved they can win and proved they can create a successful atmosphere.
Michael Lantinen is the sports editor for The Spectator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.