Hockey Club making big strides

by Martin Davis

Staff Writer

The Sewanee Ice Hockey Club has made leaps and bounds sine its inception. They have played two historic games, against Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University, and tasted both victory and defeat. The club no longer feels as if it is in its infancy. Already, it has achieved an important step in the maturation of a hockey culture in Sewanee by playing two of the biggest college hockey organizations in Nashville. It took a wakeup call, in the form of a loss to Vanderbilt and a victory against MTSU, to help the club gain a sense of reality and feel validated. However, in the last two weeks, the hockey club has come together as a unit and set expectations for the season and seasons to come.

On October 12, the Ice Hockey Club played its first game. The opponent, Vanderbilt, a veteran, well-coached hockey club, would have been a tough game even for an experienced hockey team. Vanderbilt’s club has been a proponent of college ice hockey in the south since the early days of southern ice hockey, and was founded some 38 years ago.

Very much the underdog, Sewanee was scrambling before the game. Several players did not have jerseys until minutes before the puck dropped, and several had not skated in years. In addition to uniform issues, the Sewanee club has no coach. The odds were stacked in Vanderbilt’s favor, and yet, when the game began, it was Sewanee that scored first. It was a close and hard fought game. The Tigers and Commodores would battle back and forth with no team taking the lead by more than one goal until late in the 3rd period. Tied 4-4 with five minutes left in the game, a fifth goal by Vanderbilt forced the Tigers to pull their goalie Photo courtesy of David Greenberg in an attempt to gain the extra offense needed for an equalizer. Unfortunately, it would be this decision that led to an empty net goal by Vanderbilt that would ice the game.

Hungry for a win after the close loss, and ready for the next game thanks to the added experience of the game before, the Tigers came out on a mission on October 19 against MTSU. Although disappointing, the game vs. Vanderbilt was a learning opportunity, and it definitely showed in the opening minutes against the Blue Raiders. Sewanee was physical and dominant on the puck. Even when the game turned a bit chippy, unselfish passing, as well as good team play, resulted in three goals for the against Trevecca Nazarene University on November 2.tigers on offense. On the other side of the ice, strong defense and goaltending meant that MTSU would not score their only goal until late in the game. The final was Sewanee 3, MTSU 1.The Sewanee ice hockey club has a bright future. Even after two games, the improvement has been sensational to watch. If the club continues on its current path, it will be a dominant team, and yet another great, long-lasting tradition that Sewanee has to offer. The Sewanee Hockey Club has its next game on November 2nd.