Men’s hockey team hits ice with high hopes after five-week hiatus

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The UVic men’s hockey team looks to maintain their current playoff position this Saturday against Trinity Western University (TWU) as they return from a five-week break.

“It’ll be good to get back into the game,” says assistant captain Shawn Mueller. “We currently qualify for playoffs and it’s the first game of the semester, so it’s definitely an interesting time in the season.”

Captain Luciano Somerville, who plays right wing, is going into the remainder of his final season as a Vike optimistic, “excited to get back on the ice.”

“The goal is to win,” Somerville says.

The positive energy resonates among the other players as well. Wolfgang Schoenefuhs says he’s “looking forward to getting back on the ice,” after scoring the winning goal at another game against TWU last semester.  

Though still a Vikes rookie, Patrick Holland has already had an exhilarating junior career, playing five NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens. “Mid-season breaks are generally really effective at getting some enthusiasm and motivation back,” he says, “and I’ve already felt that from the entire team in our recent practices.”

The Vikes play 24 games each season, 12 away and 12 at home, not including exhibition or playoff games. Currently, the Vikes hold spot four out of five playoff spots, with 10 games left in the season.

In the fall, the Vikes travelled to the University of Wisconsin and North Michigan University for a series of exhibition games.

“From a win-loss perspective, the first half of the season didn’t go all that well for us,” says Holland. But he remains positive. “We’ve definitely shown ourselves that we can compete with any team in the league, so we know if we can find more consistency in our performance then we’ll be looking good down the stretch. I had a good time and made a lot of good friends, so that’s the main goal for me when it comes to playing hockey.”

This attitude is shared by the whole team, as the players I spoke with appear excited not only to get back in the game, but also to come together again as a team and represent the University of Victoria.

“Being a Vike is about representing something bigger than yourself,” Schoenefuhs says. “You’re representing your entire school, and it’s why I enjoy it.”

You can watch the Vikes kick things off with their two new defensemen, Shane Kumar and Noah Henry, at Ian Stewart Complex tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

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