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Club Sports: Ice Hockey

By Caleb Childers
On December 9, 2012

Although Xavier does not have an NCAA hockey team, the
club hockey team is quickly making an impact in its region. After 10 games, the team is 8-2 and is on pace to have its most successful season to date. The club hockey team has
been in existence for six seasons and has improved dramatically over the last few seasons. During the 2010-2011 season the team struggled to even have a goalie, and this year the team fields a roster of 18 players who are all committed to the team. Junior center Jake Van Oenan has been with the team for the past three seasons and has seen dramatic improvements. "This year the team practices twice a week, and everybody is there almost every single time. Guys even train together on offdays, and everyone really wants this team to succeed," Oenan said.
All of the hard work that the players have put into the team is starting to pay off as the team is off to a record start.
Next week, the first rankings for the region will be announced and Xavier looks to be in the top 10. One of the biggest goals for the team this year is to qualify for
the regional tournament. Only the top 10 schools in the
Great Lakes area make it, and so far Xavier has never qualified. With their impressive start to the season, the team is looking to make the trip to Michigan this February for Division III regionals. This season the team has already
defeated big name schools such as Ohio, Vanderbilt and
Indiana. Coming up for the team is a two game series with the University of Cincinnati. The games against UC are
important to the squad because of the rivalry, but this weekend's games take on extra importance because the team is trying to raise awareness for testicular cancer.
This weekend the team will be wearing special blue jerseys for the games and all proceeds from the game will go towards cancer research. The team plays at the Cincinnati Gardens, which is just a short drive north of Xavier's campus, and the games are at 9 p.m. Friday
night and 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night. "We've been wanting to do this for a long time now because it's a great cause and we'd love to help raise awareness. Having UC willing to do this with us helps out a lot and we know that it's going to be a big game for us," Oenan said. While Xavier and UC are naturally rivals, the two school's club hockey teams have even more of a reason to be bitter towards each other.
Three years ago, Xavier's head coach left the program
to take over as the head coach of Cincinnati's hockey team.
Current Xavier head coach Tim Discoll has been with the team for the last three seasons. Discoll has helped turn the
program into what it is today and makes sure the team is successful both on and off the ice. The entire hockey team volunteers at a local hockey camp during the spring for kids of all ages. Mainly the team helps instruct the young players and helps kids learn how to play the game the right way.
It is also a great experience for the team because they are
able to serve the community by doing something that they
love. The team usually does over 100 hours of community service throughout the school year in various ways.
The men's ice hockey team is one of the most successful
club sports on and off the ice. Every member of the squad is
dedicated to the team, and the team is greatly benefiting from it this season. This weekend's games against Cincinnati are two of the biggest games of the season for the program, and the team would love to have a strong student section come to the games and cheer them on.

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