Indiana Daily Student

Hoosier hockey teams prepare for season

Hockey teams prepare to start new season

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The IU hockey program could use some extra cash and is hoping someone like Mark Cuban will have some to spare for a new arena, said players on the division three team.

Because of a lack of funds, there is no division one Big Ten conference hockey team at IU, but there is a division two and division three team that are both essentially club teams.

The D-3 team had its tryouts this past week and will start its season Sept. 19 against McKendree University.

The team is under direction of newly hired Coach Rich Gordon, who previously coached seven seasons at Columbus High School and had a record of 198-111-29. In those seven years, he won one Indiana state championship and appeared in four state title games.

Gordon will run all on-ice activities, such as practices. The team practices twice a week and plays about 30 games each season.

All the off-ice activities are run by students, namely the organization’s President Cody Reiff and Vice President Nick Kleva.

“The guys are great,” Kleva said. “It’s awesome just to be hanging around the guys, and that experience and forming relationships is the best part.”

The difference between the D-2 and D-3 teams is the cost players pay and the total number of games played. The D-3 team plays about half as many games, and each player pays roughly $1,500, compared to the higher total for the D-2 squad, Kleva said.

The D-3 team plays its home games at Frank Southern Ice Arena, which is on the south side of Bloomington.

On Oct. 3, the team will have its first home game against Ball State, which, along with IU, Purdue and IPFW, make up the brand new Indiana Collegiate Hockey Conference.

In partnernship with Collegiate Charities and Dropping the Puck on Cancer, the Hoosiers are calling this night “Pink the Rink,” and money from ticket sales will go to help breast cancer research. Kleva said ticket prices have not been set but will likely be between $5 and $15 and will include food and other items.

“This is Collegiate Charities’ fall semester premier event,” Reiff said. “We are really excited to be a part of it.”

The team hopes a large number of students make it out to the game to support a good cause and root them on against the in-state rival Cardinals.

“Our rink is small, so it gets loud, which makes for a real fun environment,” Reiff said. “It’s different than going to a basketball game or football game like everyone has been to, so I’d encourage people to come try something new.”

The Big Ten conference will go into its second year of having its own hockey conference this season and has six members: Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Penn State. Penn State began its program in the 2012-13 season.

IU, since it does not have an NCAA D-1 team, is not a part of this conference. Since IU does not have an arena on campus, it has not been able to start its own scholarship team.

“I would love to be a part of that process,” Reiff said. “But somebody has to come and give us a few million dollars to do that. If Mark Cuban or anyone else out there wants to give us a few million, we’d be happy to take it. But until that happens, we’ll stay at the club level.”

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