College Hockey Returns to MSU
Thursday Oct. 20th, 2016
MSU Hockey Club already seeing success after program overhaul in 2016/17 season
The MSU Hockey club won two of its three home opener games last weekend, against Western Washington. This weekend the club plays Williston State College and BYU, at Haynes Pavilion in Bozeman.
This summer, Bozeman Amateur Hockey Association (BAHA) Hockey Director Dave Weaver, along with two of BAHA’s coaches, Patrick Dahman and Brian Stinson, took the club through a revitalization process including dedicated coaching and management staff, updated branding, and a full schedule, including over a half dozen road trips in and out of state, in pursuit of regional and national titles
“I was interested in re-energizing this club as soon as I heard about it,” Said Weaver, who acts as Head Coach for the club, “they’ve had ups and downs over the years it’s been in existence. Our goal was to bring fresh experience and energy to the team, to see what could happen.”
The MSU Hockey club was established in 1998 and played a few games against surrounding schools. These hockey clubs started to gain popularity and soon joined the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). The original mission of the club was to provide welcoming and affordable collegiate hockey resulting in late night ice-times, few games, and no staffing. This approach has been replaced to invest in creating a long lasting program including attracting new talent to MSU.
“When I was given control of the club I wanted to accomplish three things: First, improve our reputation with the school, community, and the rink,” Says Connor Mesec, President of the MSU Hockey Club “Second, to schedule games and practices at reasonable times and lastly, to get the team a coaching staff”.
This season, the club will play teams from Colorado, Washington, Utah, North Dakota, as well as Montana’s own MT Tech Orediggers. The rebirth of the team brand, with an eye on future growth, makes the club uniquely attractive now in the eyes of future competitors.
“We’re setting ourselves up to make sure that the big teams around the region know that MSU is here and ready to play,” says Weaver, “We have lot to look forward to as we get further into the season, and grow stronger into the next couple of years.”
The growth of hockey in the Gallatin Valley mirrors trends around the United States. Bozeman is becoming a hub for ice hockey competition which benefits the players, families, and the community at large. The growth of the MSU club is occurring as a second sheet of ice is being built next to their home rink at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds.
“This rejuvenation brings an unparalleled level of hockey to Bozeman and the area, and will contribute to inspiring our youth hockey players,” says Assistant Coach Patrick
Dahman, “It’s a community builder and great place for students and family to continue supporting our Bobcats”
The next homes games are:
Thursday, October 20th against Williston State @ 9:30pm Friday, October 21st against BYU @ 7:30pm
Saturday, October 22nd against Williston State @ 3:00pm
For complete information on the MSU Hockey Club visit msuhokcey.com