Men’s club hockey drops final games

Laura Conway

The NMU men’s club hockey team’s season came to a close with a loss to the number one ranked team in the Central division, Grand Valley State University last weekend. The Wildcats lost Friday 0-6 and then Saturday 0-12.

The season ended with an overall record of 13-21 and a home record of 9-7-1

Even though it was a rough loss for the team, the ’Cats are still coming out of the weekend thinking positively.

Junior Nick Cavato said last weekend was still one of his favorite weekends when it came to seeing the team come together and the fact that they were playing the number one ranked team.

“I think my favorite weekend this season was our last game against Grand Valley even though we lost,” Cavato said. “Everyone was there and ready to commit.”

A majority of the team gave sophomore goaltender Matt Kapushinski credit for keeping them in as long as they were against Grand Valley. He, however, stood strong that it was in fact his forwards and defensemen that kept them in the game.

“The first game I started and made a few saves early on and got in a rhythm. We kept that momentum going through the whole game,” Kapushinski said. “The guys skated really hard until the end of the game, despite driving all day.”

The Wildcats had no choice but to skate hard, they went down there with fewer athletes and ended up skating a lot more shifts than they were used to.

“Going down with only 10 skaters, we knew we had a challenge ahead of us,” Kapushinski said.

Overall, the team had a pretty successful season with some really good games they played for their fans.

Captain David O’Donnell remembered a swept series against the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Huskies Oct. 1 and 2, 2010.

A lot of the team is from Illinois so NIU is a pretty big rival for them.  Many of the Wildcats have played on teams with some of the opposing team members, so they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

In the first game at NIU in October,  the Wildcats came out strong and almost unstoppable.  Out of the 40 attempted shots on goalie Joey Minsky, he only let one through.

O’Donnell said there was also some really good plays by the forwards that game.

“We won the second game, with a game-winning goal under a minute left to play in the third to win it. Bissett had a sick backdoor bury from a filthy sauce pass from me,” O’Donnell said. “Me, Bisset, and Gicopoulos, had an unreal weekend … we had like five goals between us and really carried the team.”

Cavato said he was really happy with the way the team came together of the season and really worked hard together toward their goals.

“This season I liked how the guys came together as a team. We had our slumps, but we worked hard and pushed each other to get better. I’m really looking forward to next year,” Cavato said.

He also mentioned an addition to the team next year, a new coach, Carl Trosien. Previous to coaching at NMU next semester, he coached for ACHA D3 school Delta College in lower Michigan.

“New coach set his ground rules out, we are pretty pumped for next year’s new work out plans,” Cavato said. “We are going to do more weightlifting, we have to wear shirts and ties to games.”

With a clean slate and a new season, the team will get some new leadership.  They are looking forward to a brand new -season.