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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M hockey hopes to close season with win against UT

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Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver
Texas A&M Ice Hockey vs. Texas (copy)

After a long season of tough practices and even rougher games, Texas A&M hockey prepares for its final game against its biggest opponent — the University of Texas Longhorns.
Though A&M beat UT in their last matchups on Oct. 29 and 30 by scores of 5-4 and 6-3, respectively, the pressure remains as the maroon and white take the ice for their last home game of the season and, for the seniors, their last home game as a student-athlete.
Senior goaltender Joseph Reynolds said he plans to take in his final moments on the home ice as much as he can.
“[I am looking forward to] just enjoying the moment with the guys and for myself,” Reynolds said. “You only get one senior night, so I try to make the most of it. Honestly, the games against Texas are big games, as always, but I have played in plenty of those, so I am trying to make sure I don’t get caught up in the competitiveness of it and just try to enjoy the moment and have fun.”
The odds are heavily in favor of the maroon and white, as A&M owns a 14-8 record to the Longhorns’ 8-9, but all bets appear to be off the table as this is the first rivalry game in two seasons that fans will be allowed back into the rink at full capacity.
When you throw in 1,200 screaming fans, the rivalry only gets stronger, graduate defenseman Colin Walt said.
“Last spring we were able to play against them [UT], but because of COVID-19 we didn’t have the crowds involved,” Walt said. “It was the same thing over in Austin: not many people there. The crowd just introduces a whole other dynamic to the team.”
While in a fast-paced game such as hockey, where possession can be switched at the drop of a hat, a loud crowd can often be both an advantage and a hindrance to both teams; however, for the maroon and white the presence of the 12th Man goes beyond the noise.
Senior defenseman Jacob Norwood said the moment they hear the yells of fans, the team’s mindset changes.
“A good word for it is electric,” Norwood said. “Warmups finish and you see people piling in, and when you come back out, we’re all standing [in the hallway], you can’t see out the door, but you can hear how many people are there. You can hear the yells without even having to see it, and when you go out there it’s a different atmosphere.”
The stakes are high to make an impressive final showing before playoffs, but for this program the connections and brotherhood matter more than the scores on the board.
Everyone comes to play the sport they love, but the memories made are what last, Walt said.
“You will forget what the scores are eventually, but the time you have with the guys you will always remember. There are so many memories, ones on an individual basis one-on-one, ones in smaller groups and the ones that we have with the entire team.”
Puck drops at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan 29, at Spirit Ice Arena. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 for students and military.

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