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UNF Hockey team races to towards next season

During the first game of the UNF Hockey Club’s inaugural season, Joe Burke, a UNF business management junior and club president, dislocated his shoulder.

He got six anchors pinned into his shoulder and the injury prevented him from playing the entire season. Burke’s absence did not, however, lower the morale of the team. The team went on without him, winning three of 12 games. And while the players trained hard on the ice, Burke was working to keep them there.
“College hockey is club-affiliated,” Burke said. “So we don’t get much school funding.”
Burke raised $2,000 for the first season, and each of the players paid the required $500 each to be on the league.
Next season will be even more costly because Burke is working to get the team certified under the American Collegiate Hockey Association. He estimates the total cost of the season will be around $15,000, triple the cost of this season.

“We are going to speak with action news and try to get some big publicity in the newspaper,” Burke said. “[We are] trying to get more noticed globally than anything.”

Burke is not only working on getting sponsors, but also the new coach is trying to help bring more awareness to UNF hockey.
Pat Murphy, a UNF sports science junior, volunteers as the coach for the team. He has been dedicated to it all season and plans to stick with it next season, as well, but as an athletic trainer.
“We worked a lot on skating drills and worked on continuity,” Murphy said. “We need more defensive depth. We are already recruiting highly on campus.”

He said the team’s strength is its highly skilled offensive players.

This was reflected in the Feb. 26 game against Florida Institute of Technology, as the UNF offense pounded FIT’s goalie for the entire 60 minutes, dominating the game from beginning to end. It beat FIT 8-2 in its final home game of the season at Jacksonville Ice and then again at an away game Saturday with a score of 13-3.
Recruiting for next season has already begun, and Burke encourages all UNF students with any hockey experience to try out for the team.

“We have some players that had only played road hockey,” Burke said.

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Tryouts could start as early as this semester and will continue through the beginning of fall semester next year, Burke said.
The UNF hockey team will play in the southeastern conference against schools like the University of Florida, Florida State University, FIT, Florida International University, Embry-Riddle and Alabama, Burke said. 
He is optimistic that the UNF hockey team will fair well against these schools next season.
“We are building,” Burke said. “We have gotten better. We have grown a lot as a team this year.”
 For more information about next season’s schedule and tryouts for the UNF hockey team, visit unfhockey.com.

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  • J

    JamesApr 12, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Just trying to get a hold of Emily. It’s James, from high school. Find me.