GREELEY, Colo. – The University of Northern Colorado’s club hockey team hosted their annual alumni game Saturday.
The game had an exciting first period, with a little bit of pushing and shoving. The competitiveness between past and current teammates was visible as the game continued. In the second and third periods the shoving settled down a bit. With only a few little bickers, the game ran smoothly.
Colton Bruce, a sophomore business student, is a defender on the club team.
“It was a good friendly match,” Bruce said. “It did get a little chippy, but it was good to see how other players used to play and play against you.”
In the fast-paced game, a penalty shot replaced the usual two-minute penalty. This adjustment kept the 15-minute periods going smoothly.
Both teams were extremely excited on the benches, especially about teammates or opposing players scoring. The game supplied a way for the new team members to transition to collegiate hockey and for returning players to get back into the groove of the season. The goal of the low-pressure game was to have a fun filled family night.
The alumni team led through much of the game, but the current team pulled ahead in the last few minutes. The game ended with hugs as the team shook hands.
Brandan Meyer, a sophomore finance major, is a forward on the current team.
“It was extremely fun to play against old teammates, and the bragging rights don’t hurt either,” Meyer said. “The game overall was great, always happy to win and see old faces and new faces come together.”
Many of the alumni commented on how tired they felt before and after the game. For many of these players, this is their first time playing on this team, or they have not played on this level in a while. For many of these alumni, their kids were able to see them play.
Overall, the game was full of excitement as players got back onto the ice. The amount of encouragement and learning between the alumni and current players was a sweet sight to see.
Ella Hemenger, a sophomore studying elementary education and music, was one student of many in the audience.
“I really enjoyed the sense of pride through the stands and on the rink,” Hemenger said. “There was a very cute family sitting in front of me and the littlest boy was so happy to watch his dad play and kept telling me he was going to play just like his dad, and every time the dad came around, he would high-five his kid through the glass.”
Next weekend will be the team’s official start of regular season games. They will play Boston University on Friday, then Wyoming on Saturday. Both games will be at the Greeley Ice Haus at 8:30 p.m.