Club Hockey shows progress in 2014 season

Ryne Prinz

On Feb. 14, the UW Oshkosh Club Hockey team finished its season in a 4-1 loss to Saint Mary’s University. The team’s final record was 7-13 and it finished fifth out of the seven teams in the National Collegiate Hockey League. Anthony Elsen, Owen Ahlstrom and Rex Whealon were honorable mentions for all conference. Brandon Beier was named second team all-rookie. All-academic team members included Michael LeDonne, Tanner Good, Tony Francois, Whealon and Brett Lessner. Junior goaltender Eric Vela said he feels that everyone takes the term club really lightly. “As a club, we still travel and compete with really good teams with a lot of talent too,” Vela said. Their conference opponents include colleges from Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois. As a club sport, the team members are responsible for many of the duties that are not delegated to National Collegiate Athletic Associaltion athletes. Lessner said the team doesn’t enjoy some of the same privileges of the NCAA teams on campus. “We are much more involved in activities behind the scenes such as team finances, planning road trips, and other administrative duties,” Lessner said. Despite these disadvantages, the team members still manage to conceive and achieve goals, while maintaining team chemistry, according to Lessner. “We have each other’s back on and off the ice,” Lessner said. “Even on your worst day it is impossible to be in that locker room without a smile on your face. We’re a family.” Sophmore defensemen Logan Diehl said the team has already set goals for next season. “We definitely want to make the conference tournament again and hopefully get a shot at regionals,” Diehl said.