Remember in high school when you couldn’t wait to go to college football games? You couldn’t wait to get really drunk, eat lots of shitty stadium food, and obnoxiously wear your school colors?
Well that was me, at least until I got to NYU and realized that we do not have a football team — one of the staples of American collegiate life.
Thankfully, there is an alternative sport where we can still get drunk and watch men hit each other for no apparent reason: ice hockey.
NYU ice hockey is what some people consider to be NYU’s version of football. The crowd goes wild as Herculean players skate around scoring one goal after another.
The club team won their final home game of the season, 4-1, against the University of New Hampshire on Friday, February 12 at Chelsea Piers.
Following this game, they finished the season ranked #1 in the North East, earning an autobid to the ACHA D2 National Tournament in March.
The NYU ice hockey program has never secured an autobid to the national tournament, “so we were really motivated to win and not leave anything with the rankings up to chance,” freshman Eric Boyda, a defenseman, explains. “The senior game was really important to us for a lot of reasons.”
This game was incredibly significant because it was the last time that our seniors would skate at Chelsea Piers for NYU. All of the seniors are important to the team and fulfill huge leadership roles, whether they have letters on their jerseys or not.
“Although we had a lot of reasons to win, we really just wanted to win it all for them,” Boyda continues, citing the desire among lower-classmen to honor their soon-to-depart senior players.
They won nine games in a row and wanted to keep the momentum going before the SECHL Championships and National Tournament.
“After our game against Marist, the last game of the previous weekend, Coach Cosentino came into the locker room and told us that we had to start playing ‘playoff hockey’ for the rest of the season,” Boyda tells us. “He emphasized that every practice and game for the rest of the season had to be our best effort. The mindset that Coach has been implementing in our locker room helped set the tone for the UNH game last Friday.”
“UNH came out hard against us. They’re a physical team that plays at a good pace and moves the puck well,” describes Boyda. “They generated a lot of offense for a few shifts out there, but we were confident that we were the better team and were able to capitalize on our chances to seal the win.”
“I’m really proud of the way that we have been playing recently,” explains Boyda. “One of the things that we have been emphasizing in the locker room is that no matter who we put out on the ice, the expectation level does not change for how we defend our own end, attack the net, and control games. Our strength and depth has really shown during these past few weeks as we have lost several players due to injury, but have continued to find ways to win games.”
In terms of ranking, the hockey team knew that they had to be either the number one or two ranked team in the region to get the autobid. Consequently, beating the number one ranked UNH team was an important step to accomplishing that goal.
The team’s next focus is on the SECHL Championship, which takes place next weekend in New Jersey.
We, as NYU students, should strive to be more involved with the goings-on of the many small communities within NYU. Even though we don’t have a football team, NYU still has so many athletic teams and clubs that need our fanboy and fangirling.
But if you’re too lazy to go or just don’t give a shit, I’ll be here to tell you all the highlights.