For the past three years, the team has competed in the Division III Men’s Ice Hockey National Tournament. According to the team’s lead scorer, Jake Christofferson, they intend to compete in the tournament this year as well.
“We just need to keep doing what we’re doing,” Christofferson said. “We’re ranked No. 1 right now, and it’s because we do whatever we need to do out on the ice.”
Christofferson, a sophomore, said the dedication and unity between the team of 28 fuels their success.
“To us, there’s nothing else but hockey,” Christofferson said. “We’re one, big family.”
Assistant captain Spencer Brown, a senior, agreed.
“Every time we go, our teamwork shows on the ice,” Brown said. “There’s not one selfish player … everyone has their nights.”
Coach Aaron Bain, who started the team in 2008, challenges the players to excellence, according to junior team captain Jocko Purchase.
“He always pushes us to be better,” Purchase said. “He’s grown a lot over the past couple years as a coach. He knows how to help us out.”
Bain also holds the team to high academic standards.
“He makes us get better grades than the league requires us to (which is a GPA average of 2.0),” Purchase said. “Playing a sport, like hockey, is good because you love it, but also because it helps you stay focused — out of trouble.”
According to Christofferson, the team holds tryouts at the beginning of every year. On average, 100 students participate.
“We’re glad that so many people come out,” Christofferson said. “But, ultimately, when you’re competing at a national level, not everybody can play.”
Despite this, Christofferson said he appreciates the team’s fan base. He encourages more students to attend games, which are located at Edora Pool Ice Center.
Collegian Reporter Hannah Ditzenberger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @h_ditzenberger.