2006-07 hockey preview

Kyle Dallman

The time of year has finally arrived. The leaves have yellowed and fallen, the temperatures continue to drop, and ice-citement has returned as the Lawrence University men’s hockey team lace up their skates for another exciting season.
This year there will be drastic change around the MCHA. Oct. 24, the MCHA announced two new arrivals to the conference: Concordia University and Adrian College, both to become active members with the drop of the puck on the 2007-2008 season.
The move was made largely because the conference’s current six teams left the MCHA without an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. With eight, the conference demands more attention.
With colleges like the Milwaukee School of Engineering, who – among many strong MCHA athletic programs – finished 21-5-1 and the addition of new, competitive schools, the MCHA seems poised to vie for NCAA contention in years to come.
Lawrence’s first move toward that newly attainable immortality of an NCAA tournament berth has been the addition of a new coach, Mike Szkodzinski.
With a so-so season last year, an opening weekend of two straight losses and an MCHA-predicted fourth finish, I questioned Coach Szkodzinski about his thoughts on this coming winter.
“I am excited with the potential for this year’s team,” Szkodzinski said. “The guys have displayed an admirable work ethic throughout a grueling preseason dry land training regiment as well as through the past few weeks on the ice.
Szkodzinski continued, “If the players continue with such drive and desire, we will see improvement in our team in the near future.”
Coach Szkodzinski, along with his credentials, has brought with him a new saying that has already caught on around the locker room: “The easy way is not always the right way, and the right way is not always easy.