By Melissa Brady, Staff Writer

UMF Hockey Team members on the ice at Sukee Arena (photo courtesy of Lynn Qualtrough Hadyniak)

UMF Hockey Team members on the ice at Sukee Arena (photo courtesy of Lynn Qualtrough Hadyniak)

The University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) Hockey Club is busy preparing for the upcoming season at Sukee Arena. Players on the team are excited for the upcoming 2015 season.

Ryan Lee, a defensive player for the Beavers said, “I can’t wait for the season to start again.” Lee has been playing hockey since he was four and is passionate about the sport. “I transferred here last year and this is my second year on the team,” he said.

The team plays at the Sukee Arena in Winslow, Maine. Which is roughly a forty-five minute drive from Farmington. “It’s not too bad of a drive and it helps a lot that the school gives us vans to take the team back and forth,” said Lee.

The season doesn’t officially start until the spring semester (about mid-January), but the team has a scrimmage, against University of Maine at Orono (UMO), the first weekend of December. “We are starting to practice as soon as possible,” said Lee.

“Our biggest rival is certainly Thomas College. We met them three times in the regular season and twice during the double elimination play-offs last year culminating in the championships,”  said UMF Hockey Club Secretary Conrad Ward. “Every game was a showdown.”

The team’s lineup this season will feature both new and familiar faces. “We lost some good players from graduation, but we will still do well,” said player Aaron Rivard about the teams status. Despite losing some key players the team is excited for the start of the season. “I’m excited to see how we will do this season,” said Rivard. Four new members have already joined the team and will be playing this season.

There was a rumor floating around campus that the hockey club may not have a coach this year.  “We are not sure if Coach Keim from the past two years will be coming back this season. However, we also have Rachel Schoenberg who is planning on being our student coach this season,” Ward answered in response to the rumor. “I am not nervous about the coaching situation at this point. I believe we will be able to find a new coach if necessary. I would also like to add that our coach is a volunteer position.”

“I’m not one to set expectations and then have the added pressure of meeting these expectations,” added Ward. “However, I think if we have some good practices, bond well as a team, and go out and have fun playing hockey, a great season will be sure to follow.”

For more information about the UMF Hockey Club contact Conrad Ward via email at conrad.ward@maine.edu.