After a disappointing season last year, the men’s hockey team is looking forward to a fresh start.
The Tommies played their first exhibition game against UPEI on Thursday night, showing promise and energy from the start.
There was consistency and focus from the players, constantly challenging UPEI and keeping a tight game. The team completed plays and had a strong physical game. UPEI outshot STU 27-26.
The Tommies lost the game 2-1, with rookie Simon Bissonnette scoring STU’s lone goal.
Although the team lost, there was an attitude change from last season. The players and the coaching staff were excited about the game and stayed focused for the full 60 minutes.
The team still has to adjust to the new plays and help transition its nine new players to the pace of university hockey.
New head coach Pat Powers thinks the team is displaying promise, keeping last season as motivation for the coming year.
“We truly did what we had to do to win on Thursday. But we need to be hungrier and more accountable,” he said.
“We do have to improve, and they’re going to do what they can. They don’t want to be a last place team.”
Powers joined the program this year after Troy Ryan resigned from the position in the offseason. He said the team is excited to have new energy on and behind the bench.
Goalie Jonathan Groenheyde said the team felt good going into the game because of preparations made by the coaching staff.
“Sometimes the preseason games don’t always tell the tale of how the season’s going to be because we’re still working out all the kinks. [Pat]’s putting a lot of things in place for us,” said Groenheyde.