SPORTS, Grades 3–6, 3rd Place
After a season of ups and downs for the Union men’s hockey team, it is time to look forward. Union ended the 2018-2019 season with a disappointing loss to Cornell in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournament. With the loss of nine seniors, the 2019–2020 will be a season of rebuilding. Included in this graduating class are goalies Jake Kupsky and Joe Young and Captain Cole Maier.
In an exclusive interview, Rick Bennett, Union College men’s hockey coach, expresses excitement for next season and lofty goals in view. He looks forward to winning both league games versus RPI, winning the Mayor’s Cup, a non-conference winning record, ECAC regular-season championship, ECAC playoff championship, making the NCAA tournament and winning the NCAA championship. What more can you think of?
When asked about the incoming freshman class, Coach Bennett says he cannot give names or details because of NCAA rules. He notes it is a “big class”. When asked about the recruiting process, he said his assistant coaches do about 90% of the recruiting and he does about 10%. He believes there is much more in a hockey player than having skill. Coach Bennett looks for players who have character. They also need to have a good hockey sense or “IQ on the ice”. And, of course, they have to meet academic standards. Skill is only one requirement in the recruiting process.
Coach Bennett has not yet named the upcoming team’s leaders. He says there are five to six players in the running. When asked about what he expects from his players before they return to campus in the fall, he expects them to be “bigger and faster,” he says with a laugh.
So let’s see what the 2019-2020 Union hockey season brings to us. As Coach Bennett says, “It’s a journey.”