By Traci Norwood, Staff Writer
University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) Club Hockey Team combines returning talent with fresh faces in hopes of another championship run.
Senior Community Health major, Michael Keim has placed for UMF Beaver Hockey for the past four years and has been playing hockey since he was six years old. In the role of President he states, “Our main goal for our season is winning the Central Maine Collegiate Conference (CMCC) for the second consecutive time.”
Junior Political Science major, Tyler Hadyniak joins the Beaver Hockey squad for the first time this season. Hadyniak is one of the fresh faces that have joined the squad this year. He believes the team’s goal “is to win as much as we can, but to do so in a manner that represents UMF well. Also, we want to have fun and enjoy the sport.”
According to Keim, Dr. Eastler, a professor at UMF started the hockey program back in the 1970’s, but the club sport has been recognized since 2007. The program saw success during last season as it won the hockey championship in the CMMC.
Beaver Hockey plays a ten game regular season with playoffs occurring the first week of March. The Beaver’s record this season is 2-2, with wins over Unity and Maine Maritime Academy. Both defeats have come at the hands of the Thomas Terriers whom the Beavers have played their last two games against.
Hadyniak noted that the Farmington team “is a good group of people who work well together. I think our primary challenge will be Thomas College, a tough team who puts up a good fight.”
The team has a diverse group of talent and a great deal of depth according to Keim. The roster notes four lines of offensive players and three lines of defensive players.
Keim says the team has “great awareness on the ice” which helps them work together as a team. This allows for them to move the puck around the ice consistently.
“I would say our primary strength is that we are aggressive,” Hadyniak remarks “we aren’t afraid to throw ourselves around.”
As this year starts, Keim looks back on last year’s team and tells us, “the team’s chemistry is stronger than last year. We are heading in the right direction.”
When asked about one word that describes his team, Keim states, “I would describe the team using the word challenge because the team doesn’t back down from a challenge. It is not the strongest people who win; it is the people who never back down from a challenge. All the players on the team want to challenge themselves in the game. When they give themselves a challenge become a better player and a better person.”
Hadyniak chose the word “committed” to describe the team, as he believes they are extremely committed to each other and to winning.
With these approaches both players hope to see a second consecutive CMCC championship to UMF.
The team of twenty players practice at Kent’s Hill School or Hippach Field when there is ice. The team plays our games at Sukee Arena in Winslow.
The next game is at Sukee Arena against Maine Maritime Academy at 10 p.m.