Men’s hockey looks ahead to upcoming season

Brooke Smith, Sports Editor

   There are many series that the Colonials are looking forward to over the course of the season.  Everyone has their series that they circle on the calendar that they look forward to the most for one reason or another.  It can be because they are a conference opponent or they might be one of the top teams in the nation.

  For junior defenseman, Brendan Jamison, he is looking forward to the Colonials series against Air Force and Michigan State.  “I can’t wait to play Air Force after the way they shut us out at the end of last year’s season,” recalled Jamison. 

  “I’m excited about the Michigan State series. It will give us a chance to show how good we are on a national level, and our program has a knack for beating big teams.”

  Others, such as senior captain, Trevor Lewis are excited about the entire 2011-2012 schedule.  “We have some great games against tough opponents,” explained Lewis.

  He also went on to say that if he had to pick the games his looking forward to the most he would have to say any games against Niagara and the Ohio State University game at Consol Energy Center on December 30. 

  “Games against Niagara are always exciting and difficult games, and playing OSU at Consol will be awesome and extremely difficult,” said Lewis.

  The Colonials realize that they have a lot to prove this year especially due to the fact that they lost five players to graduation.  “We want to continue to take steps forward and I think the Atlantic Hockey schedule is going to be a challenge for us,” admits head coach Derek Schooley.

  “We lost some very good players due to graduation, and we’ve got a lot of very good players that have been in secondary roles,” said Schooley.  “Guys like Trevor Lewis, Cody Crichton, and you just go down the list of our seniors we’ve got a group that will now be the forefront of our hockey program as seniors.”

  Schooley continued to say, “It’s time for them to take the next step and lead us in the right direction.”

  The Colonials will have back-to-back series out west when they head to Omaha, Nebraska for the Mutual of Omaha Maverick Stampede Tournament where they will face Colgate on Friday October 7, and either Mercyhurst or Nebraska-Omaha on October 8.

  They will return home after the tournament and then head back out west for their game on Sunday October 16 against Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

  According to Schooley this will not alter the Colonials travel schedule.  “Even if we were playing in Boston, we’d be leaving on Thursday, so we’ll leave at the same time we normally do, and we’ll be back Sunday, so that’s one of the nice things about going out to Air Force,”

  “I don’t think it’s going to be an issue at all, especially at the beginning of the year,” said Schooley.  “Our guys will be excited to play, and we’ll be ready to go.”

  Also for their Sunday game against Air Force, that should not affect their class schedules.  “We don’t play until Sunday, so we’ll leave on Saturday and we’re playing an afternoon game on Sunday at 5pm then we’re going to get a red-eye flight back, so we really should not miss any school for the Air Force series,” said Schooley.

  Schooley also admits that there will be a lot of traveling, but he does not see it being an issue for the team.  “It’s going to be a lot of travel.  It’s going to be tiring on our bodies,” admitted Schooley.  “The nice thing is that we get a home series, and then we get to stay close to home and play at Michigan State.”

  The Colonials will open their season Saturday October 1, when they take on York at 5:35 in an exhibition game that can be seen at the RMU Island Sports Center.