The Coastal Carolina Club Ice Hockey team is in its fifth year and is on the verge of making history.
Last year, the team went 6-14 and in years past has barely had enough members to fill out a full roster. This year has been quite different. For the first time ever, he team had to make cuts after tryouts were held and are closing in on winning twice as many games as they did last season.
After finishing the first half of season, the team boasts a record of 11-3 and are ranked in the top-10 of the South Region of the American Club Hockey Association (ACHA).
Sayer Zimmerman, defensemen for the team and the teams assistant captain, talked about the ACHA and how it relates to other club sports.
“ACHA Hockey is the new, up and coming league and is a very competitive ice hockey league,” said Zimmerman. “People hear the word ‘club’ and they get this predetermined idea of what the sport is like but it is different when it comes to hockey.”
Zimmerman has been on the team for three years and transferred to Coastal from Arizona State and ranks 15th in the entire ACHA for points (goals and assists combined) by a defensemen.
CJ Guarino, center and vice president of the club, talked about what it means to be a part of the team.
“There is definitely a level of dedication you have to have when it comes to playing for our team,” said Guarino. “We play our games in Wilmington and we spend countless hours traveling everywhere because we love the sport. We’ve had very few home games so we’ve had travel all over the east coast to get to games.”
Wade Sander, left wing for the team, added to that statement by mentioning the comradery that comes with the sport as well.
“Not only is it the love for the sport but it is also the guys, too,” said Sander. “You’re with them every weekend, traveling to hotels and such and we have become very close over the course of the season.”
Sander leads the team in goals with 13 this season.
While the team has wrapped up its first half of the season, Stephen Yaros, defensemen and captain of the team, talked about what is coming up next in the spring semester.
“We have six games scheduled starting in January when we come back from break,” said Yaros. “We will play two games in the divisional playoffs so we have eight games left in total.”
The team is looking to advance to regionals for the first time in team history. If the team pulls that off, then the goal is simple.
“Win regionals,” said Guarino. “We have never made it to regionals in the five years we have been a team but if we were to make it to regionals then we definitely want to push forward and win regionals.”