Team looks to improve in challenging league

Hockey practices in Idaho since Pullman does not have ice rink



Nick Torres, captain of the WSU Men’s Ice Hockey club, explains his passion for hockey and wishes for more people to come see his team play, on Monday at Goertzen Hall. The first game is Sept. 27 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

RYAN ROOT, Evergreen reporter

WSU Hockey Club’s first game is on Sept. 27 in Olympic View Arena in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

Although it is technically a team, the club does not compete in the Pac-12 in Division I. The Cougars play in Division II of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) in the Pac-8.

Nick Torres, team captain, president and current fifth-year defenseman, said the league has a wide array of player talent with a constant challenge every game.

The WSU Hockey Club has had its fair share of struggles over the years. Last season, the Cougars went 1-11 in the Pac-8. The team regularly practices in ice rinks in Lewiston and Moscow, Idaho, because Pullman doesn’t have one.

In fact, the team’s “home arena” is Eastern Washington University’s rink in Cheney, Washington. However, the Cougars want to schedule as many games as they can against the Vandals in Moscow.

This year, the team has three games scheduled against the Vandals, including one game during Dad’s Weekend on Nov. 15. From recent contests, games between WSU and U of I are aggressive, fast and full of spirit from both schools, Torres said.

Torres said that streaming the team’s games is one of his main goals to accomplish before he graduates in 2020. Currently, the team’s social media provides links to watch the games through their opponents’ streaming services, he said.

The team also wants to make its mark in the Pac-8 this season. Torres said he wants his last season with WSU to include a trip to the playoffs.

Torres is not alone in this wish. Tom Speer, sophomore assistant captain and defenseman, said this season is going to be one of best for WSU hockey, and wants all Cougars to come watch them.