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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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Texas A&M ice hockey prepares for spring season

The+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+Ice+Hockey+team%26%23160%3Bwon+the+Texas+Collegiate+Hockey+Conference+Championship+for+the+2019+season.
Photo by Meredith Seaver

The Texas A&M Ice Hockey team won the Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference Championship for the 2019 season.

The Texas A&M hockey team announced on Sept. 5 its games will be postponed for the fall season.
This decision was made after the university announced travel will not be allowed for student organizations and club sports during the fall semester.
Peter McElaney, president of the team and junior defensive player, was one of the decision makers for this delay.
“With the current situation, Texas A&M University banned all travel outside of College Station for student organizations for fall semester,” McElaney said. “So when we heard this we knew we weren’t going to play any away games for the fall.”
Marketing officer Ethan McDonald agreed with the decision.
“It was the right decision, as it would have been very difficult to travel and prevent any possible spread of the virus during physical hockey games where players are constantly in physical contact with each other,” McDonald said.
The team soon realized it was not alone in the travel restrictions it faced.
“When we had a meeting with our league [Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference], we found out most other teams were in the same boat and were not able to travel outside of their town,” McElaney said. “With the restrictions placed on Texas A&M and teams from other schools, we thought it would be best to wait until the spring to allow us to potentially play games.”
With the disappointment of the fall season getting canceled, athletes have been working out individually to prepare for a potential return in the spring.
“It is pretty disappointing not being able to play right now. I know players, myself included, have been training by themselves since classes went online and were looking forward to this season,” McElaney said. “And I know myself and my fellow officers were looking forward to making this season one of the best after winning the TCHC Championships back in February, but it is what it is.”
Treasurer Bryce Halsey said he believes staying accountable with workouts is vital to keeping the team healthy when back together.
“Being an athletic person, I have had to resort to working out on my own or with a buddy to stay in shape,” Halsey said. “We have been trying our best to keep all the returning players motivated to stay in shape. I feel it is necessary to follow the schedule of the delayed season for the safety of players.”
Even without a season in the fall, tryouts and practices will begin next month. McElaney said all players will be wearing masks on the ice during practice, and there will only be two cohorts, with no more than 10 people in each, on the ice per session. Additionally, he said the team will be performing social distancing by having no contact and not doing stretches or battle drills on the ice.
”Our practices will only be conditioning pretty much, so it depends on how the fall semester looks for the team,” McElaney said. “Our players will be very well conditioned, but going into potential games in the spring may be pretty tough on us with no battle drills or scrimmages, so we’ll see how that goes.”
Recruitment this year has also been different from other years, as it is all online due to the pandemic, McDonald said.
“We are mainly recruiting new members through our social media platforms,” McDonald said. “We have reached out to numerous incoming freshmen and transfer students through Instagram, Twitter about playing for the Texas A&M hockey team.”
Even with the latest cancellation, McDonald said the team is staying hopeful for what comes next.
“We are obviously all pretty upset about not being able to play right now, but it’s just going to make us even more excited and motivated to play come the spring semester,” McDonald said.
McDonald said he and his teammates are excited to get back in the rink and see their fans cheering them on.
“We can’t wait to kick off our season and once again see our awesome fans blowing the roof off Spirit Ice Arena,” McDonald said. “We have high expectations coming into this season, and we plan on achieving our ultimate goal of making it to regionals and bringing home a national championship.”
The spring schedule has not been determined as of now but the A&M ice hockey club team will notify their fans as soon as they know.
“Hopefully, we will be able to jump right into conference games when we return from winter break,” Halsey said. “This all depends on restrictions for the spring semester. We have not been told how the spring will look, but we’ll keep everyone informed.”

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