Men's Club Ice Hockey Wins Championship

Congratulations to the Hamilton Club Ice Hockey team, that took home the Upstate New York Club Hockey League (UNYCHL) championship after a victory over Le Moyne College in Sage Rink on Saturday, Feb. 27. Hamilton, coached by Visiting Assistant Professor of Geosciences Robin Mattheus, beat Le Moyne 7-6 in overtime, clinching its first UNYCHL title.

Le Moyne's Dolphins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period before Hamilton fought back to tie it at two. Shortly before the break Le Moyne netted another goal, and Hamilton went to the locker room down by one. The Dolphins scored twice and Hamilton once in the second period, and Hamilton players were disheartened by the two goal deficit. Hamilton’s president and captain, Greg Schwedock ’10, and several of the other seniors on the team were able to inspire the team with speeches in the locker room, and Hamilton took to the ice in the third period with fervor.

Hamilton tied the game at five with five minutes left, only to have Le Moyne regain the lead minutes later. Down 6-5, Hamilton’s Dan Higgins ’12 scored the tying goal with a minute left in regulation. Schwedock scored the winning goal shortly into the overtime period. Schwedock hardly had time to see the puck in the back of the net before he was tackled by celebrating teammates.

“We had a bit of a chip on our shoulder before the game so it felt really great to win,” explained Mike Marcal ’10. Marcal was referring to an incident before the game in which the Le Moyne team, on its Twitter account, guaranteed a victory against Hamilton in the championship game. Le Moyne had won two UNYCHL titles in a row going into this season.

UNYCHL was founded in 2006 and consists of Hamilton, Le Moyne, Alfred State, Cazenovia College, Oneonta College, and Canton College. The regular season is a double round robin, teams play each other twice, once at home and once on the road. Hamilton went undefeated at home this season and was 8-1-1 overall (its only loss was a regular season loss at Le Moyne), a record strong enough to clinch a number one seed in the league tournament. Hamilton beat Oneonta 9-4 in the opening round game on Friday to secure a place in the finals.

Schwedock has been working closely with David Thompson of the Fitness Center and Physical Education department over the last three years. Thompson helped with logistics and made sure that the facilities at Sage Rink were made available to the team, and Schwedock is very thankful for all that Thompson has done for the team.

There were several hundred fans present at the championship game on Saturday. “The school spirit was incredible,” Schwedock said. The reason so many fans come out to the games, he explained, is because the club hockey team is a conglomerate of sorts, made up of people from all different parts of campus. “It’s great to see how many people come out to support us,” Schwedock said.

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