Men’s club hockey starts up season

Looks to add depth with full roster

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Men’s club hockey starts up season

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As they look to strengthen their relationship with their opponents and administration, the Suffolk University Men’s Club Hockey team is ready to lace-up for what they call a big season; one that will benefit the whole team.

This season, the club has penciled in 21 games. All of which are organized by senior defensemen Mike Peccini and Nick Cirino. Their regular season kicked off with a 4-2 loss to Massachusetts Maritime Academy on their home ice at Simoni Skating Rink in Cambridge, MA last week.

The group has high hopes for this season under new head coach Tommy Mehlich. The head coach is looking to build on last year, which he described as being “pretty solid.” Mehlich graduated from Suffolk last spring after playing for the club team all four years in undergrad, and is now attending Suffolk Law School.

“This team can go as far as they want to go,” Mehlich said in an interview with The Suffolk Journal.

Club hockey differs from the varsity team off the ice, but not on the ice, according to Mehlich.

While Suffolk’s club team plays in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), they only qualify as a school club. This entails fighting for funding, which goes towards ice time, uniforms and equipment. They also organize their own practices and game schedules.

“They do a really good job working with the school,” Mehlich said about his players.

He also added that the varsity and club players have a strong relationship, always keeping each other updated on their respective seasons. Mehlich explained how he does not take for granted having a variety of both underclassmen and upperclassmen on the roster, and how everyone “wants to be that guy.”

That underclass success can be found in sophomore captain Jack Stafford and sophomore forwards Jacob Hurley and Jimmy Freeman who all impressed last year as freshmen. Another bright spot for the team is freshman goaltender Kenny Uminski.

“[Uminski] stood on his head for us [against Boston University],” Stafford said in an interview with The Journal.

Stafford also said he’s “excited to play for something,” with regionals on his mind.

Mehlich asked Uminski if he was nervous at all before the BU matchup, and got a response any coach would love to hear; the freshman was ready and confident before taking the ice.

The players are excited for the season, as they set big goals for themselves and strive to accomplish them. With a strong season last year, going 8-4-0 and a full roster for the first time since Mehlich has been in the program, the team has high expectations.

For a full roster, the ACHA only allows 20 players on the bench in uniform for each game. This is something the club has never had to deal with, and with a rookie head coach, it will take some getting used to.

It will be “tough with the dressing limit,” Mehlich said. “I can’t stop thinking about it.”

One aspect of the game the club will be working on is finding the back of the net. Senior Captain Spencer Weeks will try to lead the top six forwards to a lot of production this year.

“[Weeks] is the heart and soul of this team. He goes the full 200 and is definitely a leader by example,” Mehlich proudly said about his former line mate.

Weeks said in an interview with The Journal, “I think this will be our best year yet, last year you could see this was the start of something really special.”

The team also added one more practice each week, whether it be anywhere from their home ice at Simoni, their old home rink in Winthrop or even in Boston’s North End. They are excited to put more work in and gain chemistry as a team with the extra practice time.

By placing in the top 12 teams in New England, the club hopes to compete for the ACHA regionals, which will be announced in February. Their next game is against Dartmouth College this Saturday at home- the puck drops at 8:50 p.m.

 

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