Hockey ices opposition

October 20, 2011

Since participating in D.C.’s first college hockey game in 1938, the Georgetown club ice hockey team has sustained a winning pedigree, drawing talent from around the world to represent the Hoyas on the ice.

The team is off to a 3-2 start this year, having defeated local rival George Washington for the second time this season last Friday before shutting out NC State on Saturday night.

The Hoyas notched seven goals in each match, led by the impressive link-up play of senior captains Lukas Autenried and John Ryder. Autenreid registered a hat trick last Friday with all three assists coming from Ryder.

Success is nothing new to the storied Georgetown program. As part of the Division III Mason-Dixon Collegiate Hockey Association, the program excelled, winning league championships in 1997, 1999, and 2000.  They spent the 2001-2002 season participating in the American Collegiate Hockey Association national tournament before joining their current home, the ACCHL, in 2003.

They’ve since won three more titles to establish themselves as one of the league’s elite programs.

Captain Alex Yale-Loehr said the program has continued to grow during his four years on the team. “We have worked hard to establish good relationships with the local rinks,” he wrote in an email, “which has been great … for the program as a whole.”

Unlike their competitors who practice at least twice a week in a rink, the Hoyas only practice on the ice once a week. To compensate, Yale-Loehr notes that the team uses unconventional techniques to keep their conditioning up, including spinning classes at Yates Field House.

Since hockey is a club sport, the team members are responsible for setting up the season schedule, uniforms, and transportation.

“Most of the work has come in making sure kids are motivated and that the daily operations run smoothly,” Yale-Loehr wrote.

The club maintains a strong alumni network through a booster club headed by Stan Lechner. On a weekly basis, Lechner emails parents and past alumni of the team to keep them posted about the team’s season.

“The alumni have been tremendous,” Lechner said.

The team plays an alumni game every year in thanks for their dedicated support.

The team crushed the defending ACCHL champions NC State 7-0 last weekend, out-shooting their opponents 52-17. It’s the sort of win that gives the Hoyas great confidence going forward.

“I think we have great talent this year, a lot of depth, and a fun group of guys,” Yale-Loehr wrote. “All the signs are pointing in the right direction.”

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