At a school with a D1 hockey program, it’s no surprise that the club team is made up of players from elite high school programs like St. Paul’s, Culver, and Choate.
Five of the six seniors on the men’s club hockey team are beginning their fourth season together, and the sixth senior, Davis Shamburger, who is beginning his first full season on the club team, has no problem fitting into this brotherhood.
“Playing a mentally grueling and physically laborious game such as ice hockey causes participants to form tenacious and steadfast relationships with those they share the ice with and afterwards shower alongside with. No different with this band of six brothers,” senior center Ryan Hedges said.
Over the past four years, the men’s club team has seen some ups and downs, but the core of the team has always been committed to having fun and playing hockey.
“We love hockey. The club program gives us a chance to continue playing a game that many of us have been playing all our lives,” senior defensemen Elliot Mooers said.
The dedication of these players goes unchallenged: they start practicing week one of block one, and play through spring break. The players sacrifice attending the ever-popular CC Wednesday night events.
“You really know you’re a committed team when you’ve never been to Phantom and always miss the classy pregame,” joked senior defensemen Alex Woolford.
The players do take their game seriously, and they have a 1-0 record already to show for it. Above all else, the essence of the club team is in the camaraderie and the spirit of the fans.
“Bus rides are always a hoot and a holler – a surefire morale booster. We’ve traveled to New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa. It has been great seeing different parts of the country with these guys. And even more, the support the fans give us is huge. We feed off their energy big time. They also know how to make it particularly tough to play us. Really clever stuff. We’d love for more people to come and experience a CC club hockey game,” senior captain Paul Todd said.
The six seniors have a promising final season ahead of them, and plan to take advantage of their last months in Honnen. They have an evident appreciation for the commitment of their teammates, their school, and their fans.
“Honnen has provided us with some great memories, and we appreciate everything the staff there does to support our program. Charlie Litch has been a driving force behind this program, both as a player, coach, and team president. The man does it all. His contributions to the team are a huge reason we are still a program, and a thriving one at that,” Mooers said.
A thriving program it is. Even though Todd is the captain, all of the seniors have taken on roles of leadership. As for younger leaders, few stand out like sophomore Charley Bemis.
“Charley is a serious hockey player whom the entire team respects. He’s one of our most talented players and has an unparalleled stamina,” Woolford said.
With a combination of young talent and wily veterans, this club hockey team will be exciting to watch. Woolford will snipe corners with his howitzer slap shot. Hedges will continue his near flawless face-off record with the grittiness reminiscent of the honey badger. And Shamburger, a native of Georgia, will throw his weight around like boys from Minnesota were raised to do.
The Men’s Club Hockey team has two home games this weekend against the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Be at Honnen arena at 9 p.m. tonight and 8 p.m. tomorrow night to watch.