Despite being in the middle of gearing up for the upcoming season, the CSU hockey team still managed to find a way to give back to the community, and they devised a plan to accomplish both feats at the same time this weekend.
The Rams are now six games deep into their exhibition play before they go live for their first season at the Division I club level. The freshest victory on the list for CSU came on Friday, when the Rams welcomed the Boulder junior-A Stampede at the NoCo Ice Arena and sent them home wearing a 6-0 defeat.
Admission to get in the door was set at $5 per person, and to the pleasant surprise of the Rams, nearly 300 people came out to fill the stands for a preseason game.
CSU took the money generated from the game to cover the cost of renting the ice and paying the game referees, then decided to put every remaining dollar toward those in need. A total of $1,100 was donated to the American Red Cross fund for Colorado flood relief to be distributed affected by the recent flooding that has impacted residents across the state.
To the Rams, the decision was a no-brainer, awarding them with the feeling of a double-win on Friday.
“As a club sport of the university, our duty is to represent CSU and the name in the best way possible. When we came up with the idea we all knew we were doing the right thing and had no problem doing it for the community,” head coach Kelly Newton said.
Being a club program, the Rams are faced with handling their own promotion. The players have put it on themselves to handles the marketing for the team.
“We were out on campus from two days before the game all the way up until game day,” sophomore forward Jamison Wicks said. “We really have it in our control. It was great to get that many people out, especially for a preseason game. We really want to get our fan base expanded because we always love to see everyone out.”
In the 2013 preseason the Rams have begun to prove that they are ready for competition at the next level. CSU has taken down all of its opponents in preseason play and get their redemption shot against former Division II rivals Weber State and Utah State next weekend.
Against the Stampede, Wicks found the back of the goal three separate times, earning himself a hat trick.
“It’s still pretty early on, but the team is looking good, ” Wicked said. “We graduated a lot of great guys from last year so it’s going to be on us to try and fill their spot this year. But as of now things are looking good for us.”
Sports Editor Quentin Sickafoose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @QSickafoose.