California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Knights Hockey Qualifies for Nationals

    California Lutheran University Knights hockey club team finished off their season 11-5-1 finishing in second place, behind University of California, San Diego.

    The team is hoping at a chance to compete in the National Collegiate Hockey Association nationals competition. Before getting there, they played in the playoffs for the California Cup and the title of best in the state on Feb. 21 at the Iceoplex in Simi Valley against Chapman and on Feb. 22 at the UCSD.

    After defeating Chapman 6-2, the Knights fell to the Tritons of UC San Diego 7-2. Despite the loss, the Knights will compete in nationals from March 3-8 in Newark, Ohio.

    Senior right wing Antonio Foreman has been with the club since his freshman year at Cal Lutheran. He joined when it was a year old and originally started primarily to โ€œwatch hockey and have fun.โ€ After graduation, Foreman plans to join the team in an advisory role.

    โ€œMy sophomore year I decided to start a club team and we started playing adult league first and then moved to college,โ€ Foreman said.

    The Knights team finished with a winning record last year but did not qualify for nationals. This is the first year the team has been nationally competitive, according to Foreman.

    Foreman said the team is making sure they get a lot of rest before playoffs as well as gettingย  in good practices.

    โ€œWe skated a lot, made sure we were conditioned and I think mainly, the main thing, is just taking it easy,โ€ Foreman said.

    According to junior forward Tyler Tardiff, the team has had meetings to mentally prepare themselves for the upcoming important games and have increased the intensity and frequency of their practices.

    Tardiff said the team must play five or six games to bring home the national title, depending on how well they perform in the tournament.

    Each player hopes winning the national title will bring positive changes and attention to the club.

    โ€œA national title would mean a lot of attention toward the program. Some potential changes in the program as far as just the structure and the level of what weโ€™ll play next year and it will definitely mean weโ€™ll be moving up a division, if we win a national title,โ€ Foreman said.

    Tardiff said winning a national title would be a huge accomplishment and is hopeful that it will help the Knights hockey club follow in the footsteps of Arizona State Universityโ€™s team. ASU received money to become an NCAA program last season.

    โ€œWe would love more than anything to have acknowledgement from the school and athletics, that we are a serious sportโ€ฆwe could show the school and the athletic department that we take our club sport seriously,โ€ Tardiff said. โ€œWe hope to pave a path for future players in the hopes that one day we can be taken seriously by the school and eventually become NCAA when it makes it way out west.โ€

    Tardiff also hopes the national title will bring some resolve to some funding issues the club has faced.

    โ€œOur funding directly affects our performance because with funding we can buy ice time and that is when we can practice,โ€ Tardiff said. โ€œWe canโ€™t just go to a field and practice. We need to be on the ice. More practice, means a better team, which means more wins.โ€

    With the team competing in the nationals tournament in March, Foreman wants everyone to know they deserve to play for a national title and they are doing this for the whole school.

    โ€œWeโ€™ve worked really hard and weโ€™re really proud for our school and the reason why weโ€™re going to nationals,โ€ Foreman said. โ€œAs much as it is fun for us, weโ€™re also representing every student here, as far as the people who love sports at this school and weโ€™ve been doing it for the school, for the team to grow so a national title, thatโ€™s what weโ€™re hoping to get.โ€

    Amber Rocha
    Staff Writer
    Published February 25th, 2015