The men’s club hockey team here at Suffolk University is poised for an exciting first official season, as they have been inducted into the American College Hockey Association, or ACHA, Division II Club Hockey league.
The team played its first season last year unaffiliated with Suffolk. They were an independent club that played pick up style games against local schools. The Rams had a great first season playing these games, going 8-2 and eventually becoming a school affiliated team.
The club team, not to be confused with the varsity Rams hockey team, is very excited about their future and the upcoming season. Playing in Division II, they will be playing some challenging teams. “We’re going to be facing team like BU, BC, and Northeastern” said junior right wing Scott Cleary. “We have to stay confident. If you’re not a confident hockey player, then you’re not a hockey player.”
Cleary is also the team VP and is very enthusiastic about the direction the team is heading in. “We have a very new team, a young team. There’s going to be a couple of developing years. If people put in the determination I think we can compete this year… I’m very excited about that.”
Two keys to the team’s success have been their coaches and their chemistry. “Inside the locker room we joke around and get along well. But when it’s time for [the coaches] to talk, we have to pay attention and get serious,” said Cleary.
The coaches he is talking about are Anthony Matarazzo and Dante Zizza. Matarazzo is a student who played Juniors and has coached several hockey teams, including a U-16 team. “He is very dedicated and determined” Cleary says. “He’s so excited to be coaching in this league… we’re all excited to go out there and make a name for ourselves.”
Team chemistry is also great within the club. Hockey is first and foremost a team sport, and many teams at younger levels are done in by their better players trying to be the hero and not playing a team game. However, the club team knows that teamwork and chemistry are the makeup of a true hockey team. Even when asked if there were any players to watch this year, all Cleary had to say was “All of our returning guys are solid. I don’t want to single anyone out.”
The club hockey team has the potential to be a great Suffolk sports story. They are a growing organization that is taking the team seriously and wants to show up to win every night. The team is hoping to make some noise this year and is confident that they can not only perform well at this new level of play, but also attract a following of Suffolk students.
The club will be playing their home games this year at the Emmons Horrigan O’Neill Memorial Rink in Charlestown, across the highway from the Community College station on the Orange Line.