Ice Hockey Club Skates Toward Success
What has padding, sticks and ice all over? The Susquehanna Ice Hockey Club, of course, a revamped team that is quickly emerging as one of the most successful club sports at SU.
The team turned heads when its first game of the season resulted in a 10−4 win over defending league champions Dickinson College. According to former captain and current player Matt Gawlicki ’11, the club has been around for years, but “the new team” formed in 2004 under Joe Thompson ’08. The team previously played with the Sunbury Men’s League until the winter of 2008, says Gawlicki, who became captain before the team went to playoffs in the 2007–08 season.
Gawlicki says his first task as captain was to schedule the season opener against York College, which the team won. He then sought coaching help in former Susquehanna professor Samer Abboud, who now teaches at Arcadia University.
With an official coach, the team was accepted into the Mid-Atlantic Invitational Collegiate Hockey League (MICHL), a Division III club hockey league based in Whitehall, Pa. The team stayed with the MICHL until this past summer, when it transferred to the Division III American Collegiate Hockey Association under current coach Drew Wright and adviser Michael Eyer, network service technician in SU’s Office of Information Technology.
Gawlicki now serves as a senior leader and is “playing for the love of a game that has been part of my life since I was 5 years old.” Currently, the coed team consists of 24 dedicated members, 23 men and one woman. The captain is junior Frank Bruskey. Assistant captains are juniors Max Foner and Geoff Wilson. They practice twice a week at the nearby Sunbury Ice Rink, with games once or twice a week at either the local rink or an opponent’s rink. This season, the club has faced off against Moravian College, Dickinson College, American University, DeSales University, Gettysburg College and Johns Hopkins University.
Gawlicki says he’s proud of how the team has grown since he was a freshman. “It’s hard to pinpoint just one thing that makes this club so exciting to be a part of,” he says. “The rapid growth of the program and the avid support we get from the school community is something that I would have never thought possible four years ago.
“With all of the support and publicity that we are getting now, the future of the program is undoubtedly bright.”
Contributing writers to the Scoreboard section are Katie Meier, director of athletics communications and Justin Lutes, assistant director of athletics communications.