UNF hockey looks to start four-game series strong

Spinnaker

By: Josh Brannock, Sports Editor

Chad LaBerge celebrates after scoring a goal against the University of Florida Gators Jan. 20. Photo by Brett Oakes.

After starting 2012 going 1-5, the UNF men’s hockey team swept Embry-Riddle University in a two game series. The team will now look ahead to a four-game series against the University of Miami Hurricanes.

UNF is 18-7 in its first season of American Collegiate Hockey Association play. Both UNF and its next opponent UM are on probation and will be playing the final games of the season for pride and not a spot in the playoffs.

UNF traveled nearly two hours south to play Embry-Riddle in Daytona Jan. 27. The scrappy Ospreys fought hard and came away with a 6-5. UNF had just nine total skaters for the game, due to injury.

“Hard work, great cardio and heart won us this game in a packed Daytona ice rink,” Hans King, assistant coach for UNF, said after the first game of the weekend. “It was a good feeling to finally get the losing streak over, especially playing on the road.”

UNF came back home to host Embry in Jacksonville Jan. 28. The game proved UNF had the Eagles’ number this season as the Ospreys came away with a dominating 7-2 win. The Ospreys went 4-0 against Embry this season.

Of the nine teams UNF has played this season, the Ospreys have a losing record to just two of them, Duke University and the University of Florida.

Headed into the next four games against Miami, the team will once again have to overcome the lack of depth in order to get a win.

“The only advantage [UM] has is that they’ve got a lot more bodies than we do,” King said. “They’ve got a full stack of 21 … they’ve got a good group, it’s going to be an interesting series.”

The team is already looking ahead to next season as they hope to make UNF hockey one of the marquee sporting events in the Jacksonville area. King stated the team has a lot of big changes coming and will look to add diversity to the team’s roster for next season.

“[We’re] looking to bring in a bunch of Canadian and North American players. Within the next month we’re looking to make a big deal bringing in a lot of talented players,” said King.

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