ACHA DI hockey welcomes 21 prospects

Audrey Gardner, Staff Reporter

For the second year in a row the RMU ACHA DI hockey team opened its rink to a group of future Colonials. The two-day camp kicked off Friday, May 15 and ran until Saturday, May 16.

“Jon Hanna our Director of Recruiting does a ton of work prior to this. Lining up the guys who are coming to camp, filtering through all the requests and applications we get, making sure we get a good stream of prospects coming in. Jon did a ton of work, months and months and months of activity,” said head coach Michael Joseph. “Once we get here it’s a long two days, but it’s a fun two days, it’s fun to see the new players who might be playing on your team next year, it’s always good to watch hockey.”

The recruitment process began last fall with recruits attending games during the last few month of the regular season. While in attendance the prospects took in some of the biggest games of the season for the squad and games that captured the true meaning of being a Colonial.

Last season the team welcomed 13 new faces, many who had participated in last season’s camp. The Class of 2018 didn’t disappoint, the group stepped up and helped the team clinch the CHMA Title and a trip to the ACHA Nationals. However, as the final buzzer sounded the Colonials lost eight players, including a goaltender, two defensemen, and five forwards.

This weekend the club welcomed 21 new faces to ice. The newcomers took part in a variety of drills and concluded with a scrimmage Saturday evening. Several current and former Colonials were in attendance as well as the coaching staff. The extra eyes will help the coaches during the evaluation process.

“We’ve got eight spots to fill and we’re filling some pretty tough shoes, some big shoes, I lost both my co-captains this year, one was our best scorer, one was our best defenseman, both captains. Both will be tough to fill, but we’re looking for experienced guys, usually guys who have aged out of juniors, who have enough hockey experience so they can step right in,” said Joseph. “We’re looking for freshmen to come in and play, not sit on the bench for a year or two, we’re looking for guys who come in who are going to play right out of the gate and put minutes on the ice. I know we got at least three guys right now who are coming to play for us who are completely ready to play, right out of the gate, so we’re pretty good shape.”

Although no spots are promised to players in attendance and no decisions have been made on a final roster, the weekend proved to be an exciting and eventful two days for all involved. Tryouts are expected to be held at the start of the 2015-2016 school year, with a final roster in place before the start of season.