Hockey club wins official club sport title – Members talk about their experiences on and off the ice

With a current enrollment of 24 students, the USM Club ice hockey team is on the ice for its first official year as a club sport. Founded three years ago, the team was created with the aim of giving the chance to play ice hockey to students who did not want the full-time university commitment.

Hockey club president and sophomore exercise science student Andrew Wessling has been in the role since last spring. “I became club hockey president in the second half of my freshman year and was looking to get more involved in club hockey,” he said. “I was trying to get one on the ice in a tough year for all kinds and that’s when I was offered the role of hockey club president.”

For Wessling, he saw the club’s hockey team emerge from a year when playing sports seemed impossible, having two dozen members and a six-game season this year. The team have played five of their games so far, with the last scheduled taking place in February. According to Wessling, he hopes to schedule more as more and more club teams from other schools seek to add to their schedules.

Planning is only part of the tasks Wessling takes on as hockey club president. He organizes practices, which involves having time on the ice and communicating with the whole team, keeping the coach informed of all training times and games, and handling all equipment necessary for the team.

Having a coach is also new for the Club Hockey team this year. Wessling added that it was a challenge to find a coach, but during a conversation with men’s ice hockey head coach Ed Harding, Wessling learned that Harding was hiring a new assistant coach this year, who agreed. to become the head coach of the club’s hockey team.

Although the commitment to be the president of the hockey club took time, Wessling finds it rewarding. “The most rewarding part of being president should be the leadership that comes with being president on and off the ice,” he said.

This leadership has given him goals he aspires to, including building a “tight-knit group of players who are ready to put their hearts and souls on the ice and have fun while being competitive.” While being competitive and trying to improve on and off the ice, ”he said.

Wessling, who has been skating for 17 years and playing for 16 years, was recently joined by Club Hockey vice president Cooper Swan, a freshman with a major in finance and a minor in economics.

Swan was approached by Wessling earlier this month to take on the club’s new role, holding a managerial role alongside Wessling for the remainder of the year. As the role is new not only for Swan, but also for the club’s hockey team, the tasks and responsibilities are still under development.

Some of the tasks Swan knows he will take on are “recruiting, a huge factor as president and vice president of the club team,” he said. Swan added that his role will also relate to conversations about funding the club through the Student Senate.

Funding for the club’s hockey team currently comes from the intramural office, but Wessling noted that all sports at the club strive to be funded by the Student Senate and student activity fees.

Both Swan and Wessling have played important roles off the ice, but also play important roles on the ice for the club’s hockey team. Swan also played hockey for 11 years, as many of the club’s hockey team grew up playing hockey.

Duncan Hayes, a member of the Club Hockey team, has been playing hockey for 10 years. “I joined the Hockey Club team because of my love for the sport,” he said. “My love for hockey has always been a part of who I am. “

For Hayes, being part of a team is something he cherishes. As Wessling’s goal is to create a tight knit group within the club’s hockey team, Hayes has already forged lasting bonds within the club. “My favorite part about the team is the fact that we can all have fun,” he said. “Being able to come together to play a tough game or just have fun in training. It made a good bond with everyone and that is something to appreciate.

Continuing to play hockey has been rewarding for the whole team, especially Hayes. He found a goal to get involved in practices and games throughout the semester. Being part of the team made his USM experience even greater.

The Club Hockey team play their home games at the USM Ice Arena on the Gorham campus, and although the next scheduled game does not take place until February 2, Wessling is looking to add more games before that. dated. Be on the lookout for upcoming games on their Instagram page @usmclubhockey.

Catherine J. Martinez