Since the CNU Ice Hockey club’s season started in September, the team has won 14 of their 25 games, including big victories against Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Charlotte.
For seniors, their time on the ice with their schoolmates is dwindling to an end. For those not yet graduating, they look forward to more games with friends and teammates and never forget how they got their start on the ice.
Senior Ryan Lafayette is finishing his fourth and last year with CNU’s Ice Hockey club. He began partaking in the sport while in Hawaii at the age of 10. While living in Texas, Lafayette observed a semi-pro team that sparked his interest in the sport.
“The team played close by and watching them along with playing street hockey with the neighbors made me want to try it on the ice,” said Lafayette.
The love that Lafayette has for ice hockey makes the constant practice and games easy to adapt to.
“After you’ve been doing it for so long and love the game so much, those three or four months over the summer that you aren’t playing are miserable. It’s almost like you start to crave it,” said Lafayette.
At the age of four, senior Tyler Bemis began playing ice hockey in New Hampshire. His father was the first to put him on the ice and although Bemis hated it, his father continued. A week later, Bemis’s opinion completely changed.
“Ever since then all I think about is hockey. The speed of the game, the physicality, that feeling when you score to win the game, there is nothing like it on earth,” said Bemis.
He does not only enjoy playing the sport, but also the connection that it allows him to make with others.
“The camaraderie of the sport is what keeps me coming back. Also, there’s something about hockey players that connects them like no other. I’ve met some of my best friends in hockey,” said Bemis.
On Jan. 26, he will play his last home game with the CNU team and will have completed five seasons with them before graduating in May.
Sophomore Alex Howell became involved in hockey through his family’s roller rink. He first started playing at the age of three and has come to enjoy everything about the sport.
“It gives me a time to escape and do what I love doing,” said Howell.
Howell is working towards becoming a business major with a communications minor. Even with attending practices four days a week and playing games every weekend Howell is able to manage balancing ice hockey and school.
“It does often get tiring when there are road games week in and week out, but fortunately there aren’t too many back to back weekends,” said Howell.
The team’s next game will be an away game against the University of Richmond on Feb. 1. CNU will have the chance of defeating Richmond for the second time this season after winning 5-1 in an October game.