NMU Women’s hockey retools roster

Dustin Anand

It’s getting cold and that means hockey season is just around the corner for the NMU women’s club hockey team to undergo another season.

The Wildcats practiced on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Berry Events Center preparing for another season.

The team is nearing the end of try-outs as they will conclude with an 18 man roster.

The ‘Cats will be hosting Miami University back to back games on Friday, October 5th and Saturday, October 6th for their season opener.

The team is ready to have a stronger season than last year with a new coach and additional players to their team.

Returning wing player Elle Fitzgerald is not only excited about the upcoming season but is determined to work hard and have a successful season.

“I’m super pumped for this season,” Fitzgerald said. “I think we’re really looking forward to seeing the team do well this year and build chemistry throughout the year. It’s definitely going to take a lot of hard work and dedication; I think getting more chemistry on and off the ice will be a main factor in being able to compete against those teams. We’ll work together and focus more on the game instead of drama.”

Fitzgerald is prepared for another action packed season when the ‘Cats face teams such as Michigan State University, Central Michigan, Ohio State University, University of Michigan, and Miami University.

“We have a lot of incoming freshmen who show so much potential for the team,” Fitzgerald said. “We have 18 skaters now as opposed to 10, which is nice. We also have a new head coach.

Fitzgerald hopes the new mix will be a positive for the team.

“I feel our strengths are that we all seem to be more on the same page this year and willing to work on our issues instead of letting them create more problems.”

Fitzgerald said with all the changes getting the players to gel could be an issue.

“I think a weakness is that since we do have mostly new players and a new coach, we don’t have that chemistry yet and we have to adjust better and more quickly to each other.”

This year the ‘Cats will have a full roster and have better opportunities than they did with a ten man roster.

Senior defenseman Britt Shand is entering her last season with the ’Cats and is inspired to work with a new group of girls and have her last season end with a bang.

“I truly and honestly am most looking forward to playing with this particular group of players. I see so much heart and passion for the game that it inspires me to want to work, to get stronger and to help turn this program around. The most challenging part is going to be staying focused and positive. One of the most important additions is our two new coaches.”

Shand said the team is committed and wants to show that they’re no small league team.

The team wants to maintain the fight they had last year.

“The number one strength of the team last year was our determination to never quit. Regardless of the score, we never stopped fighting. We played collectively as a team until the final second ticked away. But are weakness was not being able to always stay positive.” Shand said

The team prepares for a long season as they have road games to Houghton, down state Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, and Minnesota.

The team fees are about $1200 depending on the number of players on the team.

The team also requires a cumulative GPA of 2.00 to remain on the roster.

Come support women’s hockey as they play their season opener on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 against Miami at 7 p.m. at the Berry Events Center.

For additional information go to women’s club hockey on NMU webpage.