The Allegheny Club Hockey team is currently in the midst of a strong season and is hoping to bring home their third consecutive championship trophy.
The team defeated last year’s division champion Case Western Reserve University 10-9 on Saturday, Feb. 1. Logan Koontz, ’23, led the team with six goals and an assist, and team captain Cam Fisher, ’21, tallied a goal and five assists in the win.
Fisher said the team has high expectations for the season after its sustained success throughout the year.
“Right now, the season is going great,” Fisher said. “We are currently undefeated still, and we just recently beat one of the strongest teams in the league. We are very much together and are looking forward to finishing the season strong.”
The Gators have added a strong batch of talented first-years to last year’s cup-winning team. Each of them have made their own unique and important impact and have helped the team to a spectacular start to the season, according to Fisher.
“I really love the freshman class,” Fisher said. “They are all really good players, and they all have had a big impact on our success so far.”
Despite the Gator’s successful start of five wins, zero losses and one tie, they know there is still a long way to go to capture the title once again.
“Our expectations for this year are pretty simple — we want and expect to win the championship for the third year running,” Fisher said. “We know it will not be easy, especially with some stronger teams competing against us this year, but we know we have the players and the work ethic to reach our goals.”
According to defenseman and team captain, Owen Harkins, ‘21, the team gets a much-needed boost from the strong support of their fellow Allegheny students.
“The camaraderie and the spirit around the hockey team (at Allegheny) is really something special,” Harkins said. “Last weekend at our game against Case Western (Reserve University), we packed out the arena. It was really cool to see all our friends there and a lot of people supporting us from the fraternities and sororities and other sports teams out there, so it really just gives you a lot of energy and a lot of jump in your step.”
Along with the energy generated from the team’s fan base, Harkins also agreed with Fisher that the team’s young players have really given the team a different look and an identity as they move closer to postseason play.
“We’ve got a lot of good new (first-years), such as Richy Froehlich, and Matt Good, and everyone is seeming to pick up their game,” Harkins said. “Especially … Koontz … who is playing really well and actually scored six goals in our last win.”
With the help of the strong first-year class and an equally strong experienced group of players, Harkins emphasized that the team is always playing for a championship, which is the team’s ultimate goal.
“Going into the year, the expectation is always the same,” Harkins said. “You want to have a good regular season, make it into the playoffs and make a run from there, and obviously, if your goals aren’t to win the championship at the beginning of the year, then I don’t know why you’re playing.”
Harkins said he is confident that this team has what it takes to make it all the way to the championship game this year. He said all members of the team work hard and have bonded throughout the season.
“Every year, we go in with the same mentality: that we want to win and do our best for ourselves and for the team, so I think our expectation for this year is to carry some momentum into the playoffs now and continue to build and carry on for a three-peat,” Harkins said.
Another player for the team, Jack Barron-Sluga, ’22, was also optimistic about the outlook of the season and beyond.
“I love being a part of the hockey team,” Barron-Sluga said. “We have a lot of great guys on the team who have gotten really close, and being able to play the game of hockey with such great guys is incredible, and of course winning is awesome, too.”
Barron-Sluga said the team has a more intense schedule this year, as it has moved up a division this season.
“Having won our division the past two years, we moved up into a higher division this year,” Barron-Sluga said. “We knew that the teams would be tougher this year, but we came in with the same goal of winning the league. Having been so successful throughout the season so far, our expectations haven’t changed and our goal is still to win the league.”
With the title on their minds, the Gators will suit up again at 7 p.m. this upcoming Saturday at the George S. DeArment Ice Arena at the Meadville Area Recreation Complex against Robert Morris University.