This past weekend, the UVa men’s club hockey team defended their undefeated season at the annual Stephen Russell Tournament at NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. The tournament is held each year in memoriam of Stephen Russell, an NC State hockey member who passed away in 2009. It also showcases some of the best hockey in the ACCHL in a jamboree-style format.
UVa’s club hockey team performed perfectly this year. In their first game, they took on UNC-Charlotte, and fought back from a 3-0 deficit in the first period, ending the game with a close 8-7 victory.
In a matchup of last year’s ACC Championship game, UVa prevailed against NC State 6-1. William Thrun, a first year winger, described the game.
“Being a matchup of last year’s championship, at NC State with a huge crowd, they were looking to run us out of the barn,” Thrun said.
They handled UNC-Chapel Hill easily, beating them 4-1.
After this tournament, the UVa men’s club hockey team is sitting at 6-0 for the regular season. Prior to the tournament, they had beaten Georgetown (8-4), Navy (7-3), and High Point (1-0 by forfeit). They now have 34 goals for and 26 goals against.
“These were statement wins for the UVa hockey team, especially considering we beat NC State, who is supposedly the second best team in the league,” Thrun continued. “Teams should be afraid to face us.”
When asked about what factors are playing in the team’s favor so far this season, Thrun replied that “sheer skill and chemistry allows the team to succeed.”
“College transfers on the squad have helped us considerably,” he added.
The team’s upcoming games are at home against JMU on Friday night and at Virginia Tech on Saturday night.