The St. Ambrose University hockey club is one of the fastest growing organizations on campus. Started in the Fall term of 2012, the SAU hockey club has increased in size every semester, and now consists of 16 total players. Those involved with the club range anywhere from freshmen to seniors, and all players are enrolled at the University.
The group is led by Seniors Brendan Besetzny, Dave Farley and Tyler Gannon, and are currently advised by history professor Dr. Skillin.
This spring semester is the first in which the hockey club has received funding from St. Ambrose. Prior to the financial aid, the cost of joining was upwards of $500. Add that to the cost of equipment required to play and club members could easily be spending close to $1000 before ever getting on the ice, a price that is well outside the budget of an average college student. Now, thanks to the hard work of those running the club, it has become more affordable to join and has resulted in positive growth for the club.
The team’s season is currently underway, playing in the Quad City Adult Hockey League (QCAHL). All games are hosted at the iWireless Center in downtown Moline, Ill., the same venue that is home to the local professional hockey team, the Quad City Mallards. Games are held on Sundays, lasting just an hour and admission for students and the public is free. These games are a great opportunity for students to support St. Ambrose, while also having fun without putting a dent in their wallet.
In addition to the QCAHL games, the club is arranging a game against the hockey club from the University of Northern Iowa. The planned date for this matchup is set for Friday, March 29 from 7-9 p.m., and is to be held at the Rivers Edge skating facility, located right next to Modern Woodman Park in downtown Davenport. SAU students are encouraged to attend this game, as the hockey club will be offering free admission, free food and drinks, as well as giving away t-shirts and other items in an attempt to raise awareness around campus.
While the hockey club has made significant strides in the last two years, they plan on continuing to move forward as an organization.
Their current goal is to join the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) within the next three years. The ACHA is a collegiate hockey league consisting of hockey clubs from several major universities, including the University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin, and University of Minnesota. Making this leap to a higher league would be a great step for the St. Ambrose hockey club, and for students that are fans of the game.
For more information on scheduling and future events, an SAU hockey club page can be found on Facebook.
iWireless Center, Moline, Ill.
March 16 – 8:20 p.m.
March 23 – 5:00 p.m. & 7:40 p.m.