Although we’re all dreading the brisk Midwest winter lurking around the corner, the drop in temperature does bring one relief: hockey season. The NHL and Wheaton’s own club hockey team are now starting their respective seasons.
The NHL has had numerous games already, carrying forward established rivalries from June and bringing new competitive dynamics to the hockey world. Wheaton’s Hockey Club had their first practice Monday, Oct. 12, in preparation for their first game at the end of the month.
The NHL regular season started Oct. 3 with a fourgame opening night. The 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals faced off against the Boston Bruins. The game ended in a 7-0 win for the Capitals after three periods of play.
Following those first games, the league is presenting heavy competition with teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Carolina Hurricanes dominating the standings, pushing teams like Pittsburgh and Vegas out of the top ten.
Along with the professional league, from our own Wheaton Hockey Club this month. The team has been hard at work getting ready for the upcoming season with their first few practices just last week. Facing various changes to the club this year, there will be some adjusting and problem-solving be done, but steps are being taken that will in no way lessen the experience Wheaton Hockey brings to the ice.
Already, the team saw changes in team size and composition. Wheaton Hockey has a team of 12 players so far this season, two players smaller than last year’s team of 14.
“We have a pretty young team,” junior captain Nathan Davis said, “five out of the twelve players are freshmen. We have new guys, new energy. I’m honestly not sure what to expect.”
Not only has the team size changed, but the team also has a new head coach, Wheaton alumnus Parker Colvin. Colvin replaced former head coach Matt Ference, who accepted a job opportunity in Dallas, Texas.
The team is working to bring intentional attitudes to the game of hockey this winter. “It’s not about winning,” junior assistant captain Levi Schultz explained. “A lot of it is just getting closer to all the other guys on the team — getting closer as a team.” Wheaton hockey is working to reflect an inclusive on ice. Last season, the team learned to give glory to God no matter the outcome of the game.
Sophomore Stasia Lyon explained that it’s “a cool position to be in because we can … still pray with the other team [at the end of the game] and give glory to God, even when we lost 15- 0. The outcome of this game is not what determines God’s goodness, or God’s love or God’s mercy or forgiveness for us.”
Wheaton Hockey games start Oct. 26 with the first home game at Carol Stream Ice Rink. Robert Morris University White (RMU White) will be coming to Wheaton to play at 9:45 p.m.. The team will also be playing RMU White Oct. 27 at 7:45 p.m. at Carol Stream, with a fan skate following the game. Wheaton Hockey will be playing 10 of their 13 regular season games at Carol Stream and every game on Saturday will be followed by a fan skate.
“We really appreciate our fans, we really appreciate the atmosphere that they bring,” explained Nathan Davis, “home games are definitely one of my favorite parts of being on the club hockey team.”