By Chris Allen
The men’s club ice hockey team is not a household name here on campus and hides in the shadows of the success from the men’s ice hockey team. But the men’s club team is boasting an undefeated season with a 12-0-1 record, a first place regular season finish, and is currently ranked 9th in the nation. “The team has really developed over the time that I’ve been playing here. We have forwards who put the puck in the net, a very strong defensive unit, a brick wall in net, and we look good no matter the situation” said team stylist Terry Finnegan ’14.
“Last year, we had a lot of talent but we just had difficulty getting the wins. This year we have a strong freshman class and have been able to mesh well.” said sophomore sauce master Reed Houston. The team certainly had a lot of talent join the squad this year, including forward Andrew Tullo, who leads the eastern division with points and Dylan Wattles who is currently fourth in the eastern division for points. Brendan Cheevers ’17 and Alexander Kazarian have added toughness to the team and goalie Charlie Gawne has been a key factor, having second best 2.86 goals against average in the eastern division.
Also the returning core has delivered as well. Seniors Terry Finnegan and Jeff Porter ’14, also know as the Lynn boys, have created a great environment to help the team bond and succeed. Junior Chris Cyr has amazed his opponents with stick skills combined with physical play, and sophomore Derek Kahr continues to impress his teammates with his work ethic on and off the ice.
The league that the club team plays in is broken up into western and eastern divisions. Union is on top of the eastern division, which is comprised of seven teams that are spread around New York. The team has developed a bit of a rivalry between Hobart and Lemoyne as they have given Union the closest games.
Finnegan said, “The last game where we beat Hobart was awesome. The energy in the locker room resembled that of a team who just won a championship. And Lemoyne was one of the best wins in the fall. The past couple years we’d give Lemoyne a good game but could never come away with the w, but this year we went to their place, which was packed, and really sent a message. I think the highlight came when Chris Allen ’14 scored an empty net goal and did the Terrio dance move for their fans.”
The Union Club Team is very excited for the next few weeks to begin playoffs; the first time the team has made it since the golden years of the late 90s. “We are so excited, we aren’t sure who the team [we will play] is yet, either Hamilton or Lemoyne but it doesn’t matter. The team is excited to keep playing and show the league that we are the team to beat. I’m most excited to grow one of my famous playoff beards,” said senior Jeff Porter.
If Union is to win this first playoff game, then they will move on to the semifinals, which are being held in Rochester.
“Ever since we saw the success of the Rugby team and heard about the ability to go Rochester, we have worked harder and harder,” said team nutritionist Chris Cyr. If Union is able to make it to the finals in Rochester, then they will receive an automatic bid to play in the national competition in Ohio.
“Ohio isn’t usually a state that most people keep on their minds, but as we’ve moved through the season and have had all this success it’s really become a motto for the team” said newcomer Matt Kobyra.
We certainly wish the team luck as it continues its season into the playoffs and hope they can represent Union well in the upcoming playoffs.