Club Hockey Team Prepares to Dangle as Puck Drops on 2012-2013 Season

Sports Editor: Zachary Specht

Hockey fans across the country can disregard the devastating news that the NHL has cancelled all games through November 30, because hockey remains active in Grantham.

The Messiah College club ice hockey team plays all of their games at Twin Ponds East and Twin Ponds West Recreation Centers. The Falcons are currently 2-3 on the season and are seeking to establish themselves as a playoff contender. With seven goals and four assists, the Falcons’ senior center, G.R. Capoferri, ranks fourth in the league with 11 points.

The Falcons’ 16-man roster was compiled through a sequence of preseason tryouts, in which a practice squad was also constructed.“Instead of cutting people, we opted have a practice squad. We felt this would be better because people on the game day roster can be replaced if they can’t come or aren’t putting in the effort,” said Capoferri.

The lack of facilities on campus present the club ice hockey team with a unique challenge for practices. Because there is currently not an ice rink located on campus, the ice hockey team must rent ice time from a nearby rink and organize “dry land” practices as well.

“As a team, we attempt to aim for one ice practice per week and two dry land practices per week,” said senior forward and team treasurer, Adam Parmer.

For a sport that is in season from September until April, one of the largest concerns voiced from the team is funding. Currently, the club ice hockey team belongs to a house league at Twin Ponds Recreation Centers. Messiah College SGA does fund the majority of the overhead costs, however expenses still remain.

“Prior to the season, we asked each player to contribute $150 to rent ice time for practices and so we could purchase new jerseys, since SGA will not fund us for those expenses,” said Parmer.

Despite annual goals that the team establishes prior to the season, the club ice hockey team is working towards a long-term goal that would change the club ice hockey culture around Messiah College. The leadership of the club has begun to outline the preliminary steps to begin an application to the American College Hockey Association (ACHA).

Established in 1991, the ACHA’s policies cover team and player eligibility, rules of play, ranking procedures, national tournament procedures, and other administrative issues. The current function of the ACHA is to support quality, unity and regulation of intercollegiate hockey programs in the United States.

“The largest barrier that exists in joining the ACHA will be funding to the club. Joining the ACHA would establish us as a more legitimate ice hockey program, however it would also require more travel and more funding,” said Parmer.

Until the ice hockey team generates a serious surge to join the ACHA, it is safe to say that they value the close proximity for their games and appreciate support from the passionate fan base.

“The fans really provide the team with a unique energy boost throughout the course of the game. Since our games are all close to campus, students are able to come and support the team. Our hope is to completely fill the stands with fans and create an energetic atmosphere that will have everyone coming back for some more dangles,” said Capoferri.

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