DePaul Hockey Club returns to the ice after extended hiatus

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Among the many challenges that varsity athletes faced during most of the Covid-19 pandemic, the unique struggles of club teams were included. DePaul’s Hockey Club players faced an abrupt stoppage of their season in February 2020 after a playoff loss, and were only able to play another game earlier this month, more than a year after the facts. Meanwhile, the captains have taken it upon themselves to secure funding and support the program so the seniors can get what they deserve last season.

Jake Camp, Asher Motew and John Bolger are respectively the team captains and president, vice president and treasurer of the board of directors. When they fell against Concordia University in Winsconsin on February 16, 2020 in the first round of the Northern College Hockey League playoffs, they understandably assumed they would be back on the ice in the fall. But the school and the rinks closed during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re the team leader here so we weren’t going to drop the program,” Bolger told The DePaulia. “We had to stick with that because if we left, it would have been for naught.”

Their first games were on September 17-18 in Kentucky, where they lost 5-0 and won 5-4. In the second game, they made a comeback after losing two points.

“… All the things we had to go through immediately are worth it when you get to be with the [team]”said Motew.

Motew, Camp and Bolger led the team during the pandemic, working on fundraising and logistics to prepare the team for the return of the season. According to Motew, the team raised about $ 25,000 for the team through donations from the community.

This year, the team welcomed 12 new freshmen, a hopeful rebound from the extended hiatus. It’s a promising start to the season, with a large workforce and four coaches, for a team trying to relaunch its program.

“It was pretty hard to keep the motivation going because there weren’t any games so a lot of the kids just didn’t want to go out,” Bolger said.

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Now that the team is back on the ice, it will take the support of the fans to encourage the team to continue their success. The matches take place at Johnny’s Ice House West in East Garfield Park near the United Center.

“When we were in Kentucky, they [had] a hockey team there too, and the fans they bring in to their games are amazing, ”Camp said. “They have hundreds and hundreds of fans. They fill the rink, they chant – it’s crazy.

The team hope to recreate the same excitement at DePaul. With games on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, they hope more fans come out.

“There is a passion in this team that I don’t know if people realize that it hasn’t been there for a little while, but it’s there. Motew said.

Although their game against Northern Michigan was called off last Friday due to a Covid-19 outbreak on the opposing team, they took advantage of the ice time by playing a scrimmage. The team hit the ice with a lot of energy, which makes it an official game after all.

The team captains said their time on the team extends beyond the game of hockey, from learning valuable lessons through organizing the program to forming lasting relationships with their teammates. .

“This team is our everything,” said Motew. “We talk every day and we are tough on our fair share of the time, [but] we work very well together. We all balance ourselves. It’s something that you can’t really put into words sometimes.

With 26 games to go before the playoffs, the team is confident in their ability to win against quality competitors and make up for lost time.


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