Not only does Penn men’s club hockey play on ice, they're also icing the competition.
The team has cruised to a dominant 6-0 start in Colonial States College Hockey Conference play and boasts an overall record of 7-2. Their last game against Seton Hall University ended in a lopsided 9-1 Quaker victory.
Despite the club’s current success, coaches and returning players always enter each season with a high level of uncertainty. Because ice hockey is a club sport, participation is voluntary. This aspect of the program has led to many disappointing seasons and in-game struggles, even during this standout year.
Freshman Brett Rahbany, who is second on the team in points, explains why this year has been different.
“We’ve had a core group of guys show up,” he said.
He then went on to name specific teammates, such as offensive star Alex Beckert, whose strong efforts and inspiring leadership have created a constructive environment.
The peculiar make-up of this environment, according to Rahbany, is what makes it so effective at spurring success. A combination of undergrads and graduates, Division I-caliber players and high school benchwarmers, this band of hockey hopefuls has tapped into its unorthodox diversity in order to develop an unbreakable chemistry.
One rallying point, which has reduced barriers and strengthened bonds, is resilience. This motivational mantra is often repeated by coach Scott Carmack, who seeks to create a universal mindset within the team. Coming into each game with a fluctuating lineup, the club’s ability to consistently exceed expectations shows that this mentality is working.
“[Coach] makes sure we’re all competing just as hard,” Rahbany stated, adding to this sentiment examples of his teammates’ willingness to commit to varying levels of workload in exchange for hard-fought victories.
In yet another matchup this weekend against previously helpless Seton Hall, the Quakers will certainly walk into the rink with an air of confidence about them. However, as shown by the score of their last meeting with the Pirates, they’ll have no intention of taking their foot off the pedal.
Whether it be with just six men or 60, Penn men’s club hockey and their unrelenting attitude anticipate more of the same.
Correction: a previous version of this article stated Penn's conference record was 3-0. Their conference record is 6-0.