Union College hockey ready to return after COVID-canceled seasons

Sports

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After over a year and a half away from the game, the Union College men’s and women’s hockey teams are ready to return to the ice.

Union College canceled their ice hockey seasons last year due to the pandemic. The men will hit the ice against another opponent for the first time Saturday, a scrimmage with rival RPI. Their first regular season matchup will be Friday, October 8th at New Hampshire.

Not only are the players excited to play the game once again, but they’re even happier to be together as a team. “Everybody that you talk to that leaves this place and enters the real world and has a job, they obviously miss playing but the biggest part they miss is the camaraderie in the room, on the road, at practice, just being with the guys,” said senior captain Josh Kosack. “So not being able to be around that last year because I had to withdraw from classes, and to be able to come back and have that opportunity again, I’m so grateful and so excited.”

The women’s hockey team will return to the rink for their season opener Friday, on the road against Buffalo State. Their home opener is slated for Friday, October 8th against rival RPI.

After a year and a half, this team will look a lot different when they hit the ice. “We have a new trainer, we have two new coaches, we have a new hockey ops, we have fifteen new players right, so for us it’s an opportunity to grow,” said head coach Josh Sciba. “It’s an opportunity to tweak a few things from the last year that we played and honestly just teach.”

Senior captain Cassidy Michalicka is excited about the mix of veterans and younger players on this year’s team. “We obviously have fifteen kids who have never played a collegiate game before so that’s a big deal to them,” Michalicka said. “Then we have seven kids who are ready to hit the ice and get back into the swing of things, so definitely super pumped. Had two weeks of good practice so just excited to get out there.”

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