Indiana Club Ice Hockey opens up its 2022-23 season against Concordia University Wisconsin at 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Hamilton Ice Center in Columbus, Indiana. The teams will face off again at 5:45 p.m. Saturday for the weekend doubleheader.
Concordia ranked 41st in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Men’s D2 Hockey standings with a record of 15-11-2 last year.
The Hoosiers’ caught the league by surprise after their hot streak started in late November. While the team does have many of its top players returning, they had to replace many of those who left with new players coming in.
The club lost a couple of its anchors in forward Vladislavs Khrushch and defenseman Nathan Cesarski, who had 26 points and 22 points, respectively. However, over the offseason the Hoosiers picked up 14 new freshmen to boost the squad’s talent and future.
Freshman forward Luke Slaven, said he was electrified to touch the ice for the first time this season.
“I’m excited for my first game here as a freshman. The goal is to take the season one barrel at a time,” Slaven said. “On offense, it can start with the defenders at the top creating plays but it’ll come down to keeping the puck out of our zone.”
Head Coach Andrew Weiss said he’s excited to see what the team has in regards to the young talent and new lines.
“We had a cream and crimson intersquad game and tryouts, so guys got a little bit of a taste of the college game,” Weiss said. “But you never really know what you’ve got until you start playing games.”
Last season, the points leader and top goal scorer for the Falcons was then-sophomore forward John Switaek. He returns for his junior season after scoring 21 goals and 16 assists a year ago.
Weiss said every game is just like the rest, but it's safe to say the first game of the season will get the rust off a couple players. There’s 11 sophomores on the roster, so it’ll be intriguing to see who makes the jump in talent and production from one season to the next after having a year of college experience under their belts.
“No championships are won in September, right? But obviously, we’re gonna play to win. That’s the goal every time we play,” Weiss said. “The goal is to be 1-0 Friday night, and then, you know, we want to be 1-0 on Saturday night.”