The Wesleyan men’s hockey team has closed the book on another season. The team made it to the semifinals of the NESCAC Tournament, but was defeated by Colby. This season represents the positive direction that Coach Potter is helping the Cardinals move in, as the men posted an impressive overall 13-8-5 record and went 8-6-4 in NESCAC play.
This team should have nothing to be upset about. The Colby team that ended the Cards’ season went on to win the tournament, defeating Trinity 4-1.
The group was led by an outstanding senior class, consisting of Dylan Holze, Theo Tydingco, Marty Rubin, Cam McCusker, and Jordan Jancze. Their teammates will miss them, their leadership, and their unwavering support of the team.
“I can’t say enough about the seniors,” said forward Walker Harris ’20. “They have been through a bunch of ups and downs, and we’d be nothing without their leadership. We came up short of our main goal of a NESCAC championship, but did have a lot of positives throughout the year to hang our hat on.”
This season leaves a lot to be learned for the underclassmen. This experience, though disappointing, could lead to later success in the postseason. The team has received raw motivation after getting knocked out by sixth-seeded Colby last weekend. Using this motivation, and, hopefully, an ilk of talented new recruits, the Red and Black can march their way into the NESCAC Championship next year.
This year’s team believed that they had a true advantage over other competitors in the form of camaraderie and relationships.
“We are really close off the ice, and that built a lot of trust in the locker room,” Holze said. “When you have the belief that 24 other guys have the same goal as you, it helps each individual to elevate their game and feel confident out on the ice. We had that all season.”
These sentiments expressed by the senior truly exemplify the chemistry of the team on the ice.
“My favorite thing about this team was the friendships we have and will keep off the ice,” said Harris. “We’re all very close and have established relationships that will last long after our time at Wes.”
In addition to the team’s closeness, Head Coach Potter also played a large role in the Cardinals’ success this season. Although he was unavailable for comment, it is certain that Coach Potter and the rest of his staff are very proud of the team’s work and performance this season. Especially late in the game, it seemed like whenever there was something that needed to be executed, someone came through in the clutch.
The team is already looking forward to next year.
“We have a lot of really good players returning,” said Harris. “I’m really excited to see the personnel out on the ice next year because, like this year, there is a real chance we take home that NESCAC Championship. That is the goal. The team should stack up very well against some other NESCAC teams that are losing a lot of key players.”
This year marks the second in a row that Wesleyan made it to the men’s hockey semifinals in the NESCAC Tournament. That is an impressive accomplishment and shows a great deal about what Coach Potter and his staff are doing in terms of implementing a strategy on the ice and discipline off it.
Let’s hope that next year, the team brings home some hardware in the form of a long-awaited championship.
Ben Owen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.