The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

New faces, new slate: Men’s Hockey opens 2013 season with largest roster in years

Recruiting is key to the success of any intercollegiate athletic team. But perhaps the Macalester team that found the most success recruiting this past year doesn’t even have a full-time coach, varsity status or its own pads: the men’s hockey team.

The Macalester men’s club hockey team opens the 2013 season with a roster of almost 20 players, huge growth for a team that played with as few as seven guys last year.

Led by captain Mulugetta Fratkin (Mass., ’14), the Scots will play nine games this year in an adult rec-league at Saint Paul Academy. They played their first game, a 5-3 loss, last Friday night.

Despite the loss in the opener, returners from last year are excited by the bigger squad.

“Having so many more guys is really going to help a lot,” said Billy Sell ’16 (Two Harbors, Minn.). “We’ll actually be able to do shifts, like a real hockey team, instead of just, ‘Oh, I’m tired, I’m tired,’ and someone walks on.”

“We went from not really having enough players each game, like a line and a half, to having like four lines now and too many people on the team,” Fratkin said. “It’s a good switch.”

Still, the boon of incoming players is somewhat offset by several key losses, most notably that of varsity football and baseball player CJ Smith ‘14 (Ashland, Wis.) to a shoulder injury.

“We were probably a little under .500 (winning percentage) last year, so I’m hoping we can do better this year, but it could be an uphill battle,” Fratkin said. “We lost CJ, which will be huge, and we’ll lose our goalie, Steven Tyndel [‘13 (Toronto, Ont.)], after the semester to graduation, so that will hurt as well. I’d say the average skill of our players has increased, but we’ve lost some of our better players too, so I’m not sure where we’ll be right now.”

Though playing to win, the club welcomes and encourages anyone to join and is comprised of players with widely varying skill and experience levels.

“Last year we had two guys on the team who had never skated before, and they’re both coming back,” Sell said. “But there are also about five guys on the team who played varsity high school hockey.”

“We basically say that whatever level of hockey you’ve ever played is fine,” said Danny Halloran ’16 (Eden Prairie, Minn.), who also plays baseball at Mac. “A couple kids are like ‘Oh, I’ve never really played before.’ All levels! We accept everyone.”

Though games are a learning experience for many players, they are still competitive.

“We play in an adult league, and they’re all trying to re-live their glory days,” Halloran said. “So it gets pretty fun.”

One of the main barriers to growth for the squad is cost. Players must pay for their own pads, usually costing upwards of $100, and the team must operate on a club sport budget to pay for ice time. In the winter, the team often practices on the frozen ponds in Saint Paul to get in more hours.

“An hour of ice time is like $175, so we can only schedule about 13 hours of ice a year,” Fratkin said. “It’s a very short season, if you can even call it that.”

With a limited number of games, Fratkin, Halloran and Sell stressed their appreciation for fan support. According to Fratkin, roughly 50 students attended their first game.

“A few times last year we got 40 or 50 students there,” Sell said. “It was insane. The other team was taunting our fans, our fans were harassing the goalie, it was super sweet.”

The team is supported by two part-time coaches, alums Adam Wedwick and Alex Borsch, but Fratkin and Halloran say men’s hockey is mostly a student run organization.

According to Fratkin, underclassmen are leading the search for the team to join a new league. They’re also a leading source of entertainment.

Although hitting is against the rules, Sell promises fans some big hits if they show up.

“I always get in trouble for that,” he said, “But ya, ya I can do that.”

View Comments (2)
More to Discover

Comments (2)

All The Mac Weekly Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • B

    Boris ColemanSep 6, 2019 at 5:43 am

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won’t fail me just as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I really thought you’d have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could possibly fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.