Men's Hockey attains mass following, gains cult status

By Daniel Kerwin

You walk into the arena
and it feels as if you’re walking into Macalester Stadium during a
soccer game, not an arena 10 minutes down the road. The stands are
packed and everyone is on their feet, cheering and reveling as only
Mac students know how to. It’s Saturday and it’s almost midnight:
shouldn’t these people be at a party? This is Macalester men’s
hockey. This is a party.

don’t want the games to be too serious, we want them to be fun,”
Anthony Berglund ’07 said. “We purposely schedule the games for
Friday and Saturday nights to get people to come.”
is the team’s co-captain along with Peter Christenson ’07.

The team has gained an
almost ritualistic following, with most fans trying to make it to
every game. At the Saturday Jan. 27 game against Northwestern Bible
College, there were close to 100 Mac students in attendance. Although
Northwestern is only a short distance north of Macalester, a group of
four girls in the corner turned out to be the only Northwestern fans
at the game.

hockey seems to draw varsity sized crowds, even though it’s no
longer a varsity sport at Macalester.

“It was a Varsity
sport until 1974,” Christenson said. “We have twelve MIAC titles,
the second most of any MIAC school. Only recently has someone passed
were a powerhouse back in the 20s and 30s,” Berglund added.

Despite its history,
Macalester didn’t even have a club hockey team when Berglund and
Christensen arrived as first-years. Together they restarted it, and
over the past four years it has developed into what it is today.

found a niche,” Berglund said. “Hockey’s a really Minnesotan
activity, but a lot of people at Mac aren’t from Minnesota, so it
gives them something local to watch.”
team started with only about 10 players. To recruit, Berglund and
Christenson have used word of mouth to locate and approach potential
players, put up posters (“in places we were not allowed to,”
Berglund adds), and, of course, used Facebook. Last
semester the team had only three practices to go with their three
games. This semester it’s a different story.

out of funds, so no more practices,” Christenson said.

cost of playing hockey is a big burden for the team, and perhaps the
main reason that hockey was removed as a varsity sport back in 1974.

In an effort to raise funds, the team is selling Mac hockey t-shirts
at games for 10 dollars. Give them a look next time you’re at a

from the 2-0 loss to Northwestern, they haven’t been shutout. They
won their first game in a 7-1 rout. Considering most of their
competition consists of American Hockey Association teams, they’ve
demonstrated that they don’t just bring the crowds ƒ?” these
guys can seriously play.

Hockey team is hard nose,” team member James Engeln ’09 said. “We
play a stand up Russian style.”
and Christenson seem content with where the hockey team is at right
now. They have a few modest goals such as finding a real coach for
the team and trying to get the team to play in a tournament, but they
emphasize that they want games to remain an event where fans can come
out and have a good time on a weekend night.

like to see the team maintain the momentum we’ve started,”
Christenson said. “The inexperienced players have kept getting
biggest concern is that we have a team in coming years,” Berglund

next game is tomorrow at 10:15 p.m. (Saturday) at the Drake Arena. To
get there head three blocks south on Snelling until Randolph Avenue,
then three blocks west. If you have yet to experience Mac Hockey, it
would be a pity to miss out. And for this game there’s added

Saturday, I guarantee victory,” Berglund said.

come and join the party.