Men’s club ice hockey: same ice, less pressure

Of the countless programs and organizations Geneseo offers for students to join on campus, some of the biggest and most popular groups are Geneseo’s club sports teams. Club sports allow students that aren’t on varsity division teams to continue their athletic careers from high school into college, such as through the men’s club hockey team.

One of the most exciting parts about club sports is the freedom it allows the students. The club hockey team—formerly known as the “Geneseqs”—has no coach. The entire program is completely student run and they are thriving. The students fund the whole program from ice-time to jerseys, so they have the liberty to run the program the way they want.

The thing about this team is that it’s not bad hockey. Club sports have a connotation of being weaker, slower and less exciting, but that’s simply not the case for the club hockey team.

“We picked up a couple guys this year with Division III offers, a couple guys that spent some time playing in a juniors league and some guys that could have made a big difference in some competitive programs,” senior forward captain John Ferris said. “The only difference is some of these guys like the freedom and extracurricular activities that the club team provides over the structure and commitment of another program.”

The club team absolutely exercises these freedoms. Having no coach, everything is left up to the players.

“We always have the ability to design our own jerseys, helmet decals and team gear, which is more than you can say for a lot of teams, and the guys appreciate that,” Ferris said, “It makes it fun. Look good, feel good, play good.”

Their freedom seems to be helping them more than hurting them. They have been one of the most successful club teams at Geneseo, making the playoffs for the past four years, with a couple of recent shots at making it to nationals.

“The men don’t seem to mind coming to practice, especially when there isn’t any pressure from a coach,” Ferris said. “We like to keep it light, we like to joke around and have fun and it shows. Our guys are less uptight, and they’re not afraid to make a mistake and be creative.”

The captains and upperclassmen that run the team seem to agree that this team provides the camaraderie and fun of a hockey locker room packed with teammates, which many of their players thought they’d be leaving behind in high school or as juniors.

The team has had their first two games of the season canceled due to rink complications, but they’re set to start their season Saturday Oct. 29 against Ithaca College.

“We have a lot of fun on and off the ice. Winning makes the game fun, and I think you can see it in the way we play,” Ferris said. “There’s no better feeling than winning a game with the boys to make the weekend that much better.”