Emerson College will join the ranks of Boston College, Boston University and Harvard University and put a hockey team back on the ice.,Ice hockey has long been known as a staple of New England culture, and soon Emersonians will be able to take part in the tradition.
Emerson College will join the ranks of Boston College, Boston University and Harvard University and put a hockey team back on the ice.
Emerson's Athletic Department recently approved club status for the school's hockey team after almost a year of effort from several students, including sophomore print journalism major Matt Porter.
"Last year, myself and Evan Goldman talked about getting the team started," Porter said. "We had a meeting in October. From there, we had ... a first skate."
Since then, Porter said, the team has been playing scrimmages every Monday with few exceptions. The team members have also been recruiting players by word of mouth.
Club status will allow the team to play against other colleges throughout Boston and the New England area, but Porter said he hoped that the Athletic Department would help the team in other areas as well, such as securing ice time.
"Going from nothing to having a core group of guys to come out and skate is pretty cool," Porter said. "We have had some problems with turnout, but now we can use the athletic [department's] help to secure better practice time and more access to other things."
Though Porter and the hockey team will receive help from the athletic department, most of the funding will be left to the team itself.
Steriti ice rink in the North End costs $180 for an hour of ice time. The cost per person for Emerson's team is $20.
"Hockey is an expensive sport by nature," Porter explained. "We're going to have to raise a good amount for jerseys, ice time, etcetera and we need to have everyone involved with us to step up and make this a reality."
Nevertheless, Emerson hockey is ecstatic at the thought of playing other teams.
Greg Kulaga, a sophomore TV/video major, said he is proud of the squad's efforts and can't wait to compete against other colleges.
"Some of our friends were questioning the legitimacy of the whole thing," Kulaga said. "For the club status to finally come [it is] served to silence them. We are all really excited at the prospect of playing teams from other schools."
He said he is also pleased with the team's progress in such a short amount of time.
"We've come a long way. Last year, we just had meetings and we weren't on the ice," Kulaga said. "I think getting on the ice was a key thing. No ice, no hockey."
The adjustment to full time hockey has not been easy, but it is a challenge that Kulaga has embraced.
"Starting out this season, a lot of us were really out of shape. It has forced some of us to live healthier lifestyles, cut out smoking and other various things."
Porter and Kulaga both acknowledge a change in off-the-ice activities, but agree that the squad has gotten along well throughout the difficult months.
"We have some strange guys on the team," Kulaga said. "A lot of guys just love the game and everyone is real nice to each other for the most part."
Nonetheless, Porter said the squad has some players they can build a team around.
"I think we have a solid core of people, and they're all good guys," Porter said. "We got a lot of growing to do, and we're just starting to gel."
The hockey team welcomes players of all skill levels. For more information about becoming involved, contact Matt Porter at Matt_Porter@emerson.edu.