The Lawrence University men’s hockey team is about to embark upon a new season with a line-up of fresh faces and new plays. Although Lawrence Hockey has not had the strongest tradition in the recent past, that is something Head Coach Dave Ruhly expects to change. Ruhly, who is in his third season coaching the Vikings, is very optimistic about the upcoming season: “We’ve got a good senior class, and some new talent that should start contributing right away.”
Led by senior captain Tom Conti and associate captains Stu Manning and Andy Fieber, the Vikings are looking to improve on last year’s 4-20-1 performance. With the addition of eleven new freshmen, the Vikings will have more players than are allowed to dress for the first time in school history. “Numbers are something I am trying to get up,” said Ruhly, adding, “with this many guys, practices are more competitive and we should see improvement right away.”
The hockey team ended last season with their first appearance at the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association tournament, where they finished third out of four. In addition, Ruhly was named MCHA Coach of the Year for his team’s notable improvement over previous seasons.
Every team in the MCHA has hired a new coach in the past three years, so the conference has a new look, and Ruhly is excited for the Vikings’ chance to become a rising competitor in regional hockey. “We are expecting our momentum from last season to carry over, and we are playing a tough non-conference schedule to prepare us for conference games,” Ruhly said.
Tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Appleton Family Ice Center, the Vikings open their season at home against the University of Wisconsin-Stout at the Appleton family Ice Center. A shuttle bus will transport students to and from the event every fifteen minutes from 6:30 p.m. until game time.