Eagles Hockey Flying High
The ice is fresh, the whistle blows, the puck goes flying as players race to get possession. UNT’s Ice Hockey team is a recreational group that competes to win.
“It's a good group of guys...and when they show up at the rink, they're here to work. Not much more a coach can ask for. They're dedicated as well, which is a good thing,” head coach David Heeps said.
Coach Heeps says the goal is not only to win games, but to expand the group as a whole.
“We're trying to build the organization...Trying to grow the team to where we have that big presence in the area. A few years ago, they had a really good season after that kind of went downhill, but we're trying to pick that back up and trying to get them back on the map,” Heeps said
The adjustments this year are in response to missing last season due to COVID-19, which was a hit they did not see coming.
“It's funny, you realize how much you miss after being away… for almost a year and a half. And then you get to experience the locker room [again]. It's probably the [best] part, there's a lot of different personalities. And then being able to compete, that's probably the biggest part you miss...just being plugged into friends and doing it together against somebody else,” center Lucas Snetsinger said.
Now, this group of athletes are getting opportunities to play outside of Denton. The team has been selected to compete in the Allen Americans College Classic in January of 2022.
“It's good to get affiliated… and to finally see it... put in motion is a great experience, a great thing to finally see. So I'm happy about it. I'm excited to play inside an arena sized crowd so I'll be something new,” number 27 Clark Bailey said.
Along with their upcoming adventures next year, they still have three out-of-state games before the season wraps up. Their schedules, rosters, videos and more can be found on their Instagram page: @UNTHockey.