Men’s hockey team sets the bar high

With the bitter taste of last year’s first-round playoff loss to Babson still lingering, the men’s hockey team is ready to roll in this new 2009-2010 season. The team has been toughing out 6 a.m. dry-land practices during the offseason, and the Spartans now look ready to take out their frustration from last season on every opponent that takes the ice against them this season.

Expectations are high because of the success the team had last season with a record of 15-9-2. The Spartans are looking to improve their overall playoff record. They are 1-5 in the playoffs in their short six-year-old history, but they hope to turn that around by avoiding their annual early playoff exits.

This year’s team may be poised to do so.

With 10 new faces and many returning players, this mix may be headed for bigger and better things.

“If our freshmen don’t play like freshmen early in the season, we will be better off than if the freshmen play like freshmen going late into the season,” said coach Alex Todd.

The season kicks off Friday night at Castleton’s newly purchased Spartan Arena as the Spartans take on St. Anselm College. The opening weekend continues Saturday with a battle against New England College.

The Spartans, who have struggled early in the season in the past, look to change their luck with a few solid home starts and a rowdy home crowd behind them.

“I think we will be fine this year,” Todd said.

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