Coast Guard vs. Conn Club hockey game returns to Dayton Arena

Image courtesy of Bree Bohle.

The Coast Guard Hockey Club’s long-awaited game against Connecticut College made its return to Dayton Arena on February 19, 2022. Normally one of the most popular sporting events at the College, it had been canceled in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, the game was able to return in a smaller capacity; fewer tickets were available to ensure the game would follow the guidelines put in place by the College regarding COVID safety.

Students lined up at the Crozier-Williams Student Center at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17 in hopes of acquiring a ticket to the game, stretching out the back door by Sprout Garden. By 12:22 p.m., the Office of Student Engagement had run out of tickets.

Even before the game, excitement (and maybe gas) filled the air. Students arriving earlier than the scheduled 7 p.m. start time were asked to wait in the Sports Center while the New London Fire Service investigated a possible gas leak. Once the firefighters gave the go-ahead, the game was to begin. The stands quickly filled with rowdy students from Connecticut College and the Coast Guard. The excitement came through in proud chants from across the stands, with viewers banging on the protective barriers as their favorite players skated on.

The game started with the all-female acapella group the ConnChords performing the national anthem, before moving on to celebrating their seniors: Conn students Jake Corcoran (captain), Matt Guittari (alternate captain), Brady Young, Zach McCrystal , Dareious Linss and Matt Park.

Even the players couldn’t resist the energy surging through the crowd. After a tough first period where the Coast Guard took the lead, Conn fought back in the second period by managing to score a goal. In the third and final period, the score was tight as the Cadets raced down the ice to hold on to their lead against the Camels. The tension was palpable and at one point seemed to erupt during a pile-up between the two teams where officials had to get involved, tearing bodies away from each other.

The final score of the match was 4-3, Coast Guard.

“We want to thank our coach Andrew Tomarchio, for giving us his time every week and showing up when we needed him most,” Young said.

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Catherine J. Martinez