By Carolanna Feltner | Contributing Writer
Old Dominion University Men’s Club Ice Hockey has been around since 2001 and will be celebrating twenty years at ODU in 2021. The club got started when a group of enthusiastic students got together and worked with ODU’s recreational program to get the team off the ground.
Currently, the team is in division three of the American Collegiate Hockey Association and will be transitioning to the College Hockey Federation in the new season. Back in 2008 they were division champions in the ACHA but have yet to win a championship. Games and practices are held at Iceland Family Skating Center located in Virginia Beach, home ice for the players.
When asked about if the team was having a hard time recruiting players Coach Marco Myers replied, “Yes very hard, we [ODU] have a lot of students but it’s not a popular sport in this area and the Whalers take up most of the players so there is not much recruitment.”
Club fees per person are around $1,200 which incorporates the price for being a part of the ACHA, the ice time at Iceland for practices and games, and travel. The team travels as far as eight hours north to Pennsylvania and eight hours south to South Carolina. Attendance at most of the games consists of family, friends, and the rival teams fans.
One of the main focuses of the team was getting more people to come out to the games. However, that is the team’s last worry now because of COVID-19 crashing in. Due to the pandemic the team had to wrap up the season earlier than anticipated. Coach Myers commented on the players thoughts, “They were pretty pissed, they lost momentum, and are worried what the budget is going to look like,” said Coach Myers.
This is partially due to the fact the team is a club sport they have been put on the back burner unlike the official university sports teams. However, players have overcome this major roadblock and have joined the various adult leagues that Chilled Ponds Ice Sports Complex has to offer in order to stay in shape.