Going Bears: Ice Hockey Edition!

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via sharkspage.com

Many of us Marshawnthusiasts are former Cal band members. So, we have many fond memories of the Cal Ice Hockey team.  Each year, we'd make it out to the Big Freeze (if not further games) to watch Cal take on Stanford.  Even if Stanford, it was still always a great time out!  Things have changed a lot since then.  For example, the Berkeley Iceland has, unfortunately, closed. 


Star players include JP McNicholas who leads the team with 22 points in just 8 games. Keiskue Teeple, a Junior transfer from UC Davis, who led their team in just about every category is also another star.  Finally, our freshman goaltender, Mat Bloomfield, has been a pleasant surprise putting up a a goals against average just a bit over 2.00 while winning every one of his starts.  From 2002 to 2006 Cal Ice Hockey went 17-2 against Stanford.  From 2007
to 2009 they are even (each team 4-4).

Ice Hockey, now situated at the Oakland Ice Center, is still a great time out!  It's a club sport, so it needs all the support of the fanbase!  Learn more here at the main website.  Right now, we are 5-3, including a big home win over USC 12-2!  The team only had 3 wins last season and already have 5 this season, so this is definitely a team on the rise.  Over the weekend, we crushed Gonzaga 13-2 at home (i.e. the Oakland Ice Center).  We got games next month against Santa Clara and, of course, Stanford in the Big Freeze just 2 days before the Big Game.  Should be very exciting!

To help better introduce the fanbase to Cal ice hockey, we have an interview with the captain, Daniel Sulitzer.  Thank you very much to Daniel Sulitzer and Cal Ice Hockey for helping us put this interview together.  Get out there and support Cal this month.  And Go Bears!!


1.  What initially got you interest in hockey?

When I was 5 years old, my dad and I went to my dad’s friend’s son’s youth hockey game. We loved it! After the game, my dad and I came home with $500 worth of ice hockey equipment. My mom was pissed. The following week, there were hockey tryouts. I didn’t even know how to stand up on skates without falling, but somehow I made the team. And it’s all downhill from there.

 

2.  How does the Cal hockey team look this year?

         The Cal Ice Hockey team is looking great this year. We definitely have had some ups and downs in the past few years, but this year I feel will be very different. We have two amazing goaltenders, four solid defensemen, and three very skillful forward lines. What more could a team ask for. It’s a total package.

 

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"Head Coach Cyril Allen" via www.calicehockey.com


3.  What is the Cal hockey team's strengths this year?  What are its weaknesses?

         Our biggest strength is that we have a lot of talent on the team. Everyone contributes; everyone knows what their role is on this team and they are willing to put their heart and soul into fulfilling their job.  We are a really hardworking team.

Our number one weakness is the lack of bodies. It is extremely difficult to field a full team. We are constantly looking for more and more players. We are willing to give tryouts to anyone and everyone. If you have any interest in hockey, please come out. Its fun!

4.  Why is hockey only a club sport at Cal rather than an NCAA sanctioned sport?

         A long time ago, I believe in the 1930s and 1940s, Cal Ice Hockey was a NCAA sanctioned sport. There aren’t any NCAA teams on the West Coast now so it is hard for us to be the only NCAA team. The furthest West Coast team is in Colorado or Fairbanks, Alaska. It would be a lot of traveling for the West Coast teams to play NCAA. But hopefully someday it turns back into a NCAA sanctioned sport.

 

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via www.pbase.com


5.  Do you guys play any of the traditional northern powerhouses or is it just local West Coast teams?

         We do not play any of the traditional northern powerhouses. We play pretty much the Pac 10 schools. But occasionally, we play such schools as SJSU or LMU or Gonzaga.


6.  How difficult is it to balance a club sport with Cal life, especially without much financial backing from the university?

         It isn’t too difficult, but I mean it is a commitment. I personally like it because it makes me better at time management. I have to get my work done in order to go to practice or play in the games. We definitely understand school does come first, but hockey is up there. Also, being able to play ice hockey four times a week allows me to forget about all of my concerns related to school. It’s nice to put down the textbook for an hour or so and just play hockey; it’s stress free. The school does provide the team with some money, but it is minuscule. We definitely have to work hard for the little money they give us. We do seatbacks and we run the funzones on Maxwell Field at the home football games. Given the budget cuts, we are thankful that the university can still support us somewhat.

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via sharkspage.com


7.  What is the #1 game you are looking forward to this year? 

         The number one game, I am looking forward to this season is our Big Freeze game, November 19th at 7:45 pm, where we play Stanford. It should be a big game and hopefully a lot of the student body comes out to support us. 

 

8.  Is it tougher to play in Oakland instead of the now closed Iceland?

         It is harder to play in Oakland. It is tougher for our fans to come out and enjoy some exciting hockey because it is so far away. We are trying to get buses for our fans, so they don’t have to drive to the games anymore. Also my coach and his company have been working diligently to try and bring back the now closed Iceland. So hopefully in the next few years, we will be playing back at Iceland.

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