On September 22, the UTM men’s tri-campus and Division Two hockey teams each completed their second round of tryouts. The teams hope to bounce back from last year’s disappointing seasons—each team had to forfeit numerous games because of poor attendance.
“This year will be different,” says Rory Bourgeois, a UTM forward and fourth-year political science student. “We’re going to have a strict policy when it comes to attendance so we don’t have a repeat of last year.”
The new policy will require players to attend both practices and games and penalize players who don’t. It was implemented to encourage players to commit to their respective teams.
Another change to the tri-campus hockey team is the introduction of non-contact play. The difference between contact and non-contact hockey is drastic; however, it will make the league a lot safer and open to prospective players who have never played contact hockey before.
Geoffrey Kosmala, a tri-campus prospect and third-year interactive and digital media major, says, “I am not a big or physical player, so no-contact [hockey] allows me to move around more freely on the ice.” Kosmala adds that it’s an easier transition to the hockey league.
Mark Runciman, a defenceman and fourth-year criminology major, believes the incorporation of non-contact hockey will benefit not only the players, but also the team as a whole. “These new guys could definitely strengthen the tri-campus team,” he says.
The tryouts ran smoothly, according to assistant coach Michael Keaveney, who says the team is looking strong so far, with a lot of young and talented recruits. Keaveney adds that it’s important that players abide by the new rules and commit to playing on the team. “We understand that guys have school stuff to do, but this year we’re making more of an effort to make the guys more accountable and increase attendance, and we are hoping that some of these new players understand this new policy,” he says.
Head coach Chet Long stresses that even prospective tri-campus hockey players who don’t make the squad will have a spot on the ice, with free ice time every Sunday from 9:45 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.at Iceland Arena. The league holds two tournaments a year, says Long—one in Orillia and one in London.
Those with inquires about tryouts can contact Kyle Kuczynski, the captain of the tri-campus men’s team, at [email protected].