Written by: Regan Cleves
There is a buzz of anticipation around Mt. Pleasant as the hockey season quickly approaches. As they hope to build on the success of last season, the Central Michigan University Men’s Division III and Women’s Division II club hockey teams are ready to tackle the 2022-23 campaign.
Led by fifth-year head coach Tyler Cataline, the Men’s DIII team is celebrating its 10th season. Since starting play in 2013-14, the Maroon and Gold have accumulated a record of 144-96-14-6, captured two Vezina Cups as champions of the Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference, and made five appearances in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) National Tournament—including three straight from 2020-22, getting as far as the semifinals in 2018.
The Chippewas will open their 30-game season on the road at Ewigleben Ice Arena on Friday, Sept. 23 against Ferris State. The rest of their schedule features tough series against Nebraska, Notre Dame, Florida Gulf Coast, and Grand Valley State, all of whom made the 2022 National Tournament along with Central Michigan. Their conference schedule will pit them against national runner-up Michigan; National Tournament participants Lawrence Tech and Saginaw Valley State; as well as Northwood, Adrian, Oakland, and Michigan-Flint.
Despite the success of a 14-6-0-6 record in 2021-22, the Maroon and Gold face some uncertainty ahead of this season. Nine seniors from last season’s roster graduated, including the main goaltending duo and four of the top seven goal scorers. To make up for the loss, the team recruited well, picking up 10 new players out of high school and other colleges.
“We lost a lot of great guys after last season,” Cataline said. “But our incoming class has worked hard so far to keep up the momentum from last year. They are getting closer on and off the ice. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do in games.”
After not participating in the abbreviated 2020-21 season, the Central Michigan DII Women’s team is back for a second consecutive season under the direction of head coach Chris Haney. Established in 2008 as a member of the Central Collegiate Women’s Hockey Association (CCWHA), the Chippewas will play a 21-game schedule in 2022-23, beginning on Saturday, Oct. 1 when they host Michigan State at Martin Ice Arena.
Central Michigan’s in-conference schedule sees them face the likes of four national tournament participants from a season ago: Lake Superior State, Adrian, Northern Michigan, and Sault College. Bowling Green, Loyola-Chicago, and Notre Dame are also conference foes, while. outside of the CCWHA, the WDII Chippewas will face Miami-Ohio and Penn State.
The women’s team struggled last season, going 4-17. However, led by captain Mac Bennet and sophomore goaltender Lauren Abraham, the young team is setting itself up for success in this season as well as a bright future.
Written by: Regan Cleves