As many of the sports seasons are either finished or coming to a close soon, many of the athletes are looking forward to next year for their sports season to start back up. Unfortunately for the Dawson Blues men’s hockey team, they will not be having anything to look forward to for next year.
At the end of 2017, it was announced to the team that the men’s hockey team would be discontinued after the end of the current season.
“Our coach called us in for a meeting in October and told us that he was going to resign and that there might not be a team next year. Then later on it was confirmed that we won’t have a team,” Patrick Higgins, a forward with the Blues, said.
It came as both a shock to the team and also not a big surprise.
“We were kind of expecting it because we knew that the team wasn’t doing that well, but our coach didn’t really give us a clear reason as to why this was happening,” Kevin Lisio, forward for the Blues, said.
Over the past few seasons, the team has struggled a lot. The decision to terminate the team came through a combination of the disappointing seasons that they have had and also the cost of having a team.
Hockey is by far one of the most expensive sports to play and it is especially expensive to be able to compete at the division one level. They have to travel far and have an away game almost every weekend.
Dawson has also been one of the only schools that does not have an arena on campus, which makes it significantly more difficult in terms of scheduling practices and getting to games after school. A combination of all things led to the decision.
The decision is especially upsetting for the team since they are actually on the rise towards a playoff spot with one of the youngest teams in the league.
“As of right now we’re doing better, winning 7 of our last 12, and it looks like we might be making the playoffs,” Higgins said. “So hopefully we can close out the year strongly.”
With this team being as young as they are, with 17 first-year players on the roster, many of the players will be looking to continue their hockey playing elsewhere.
“Personally, I will be leaving and I know that a lot of the other guys will too,” Lisio said. “It’s disappointing because we were all expecting to stay together next year and have a much better team with the experience we would all have.”
Despite only playing one year for the Blues, many of the newcomers feel that Dawson has helped them a lot with the development of their hockey playing.
“Dawson has really done a lot for our development because the coach has been very fair with the ice time,” Lisio said. “He has really done a lot to develop every aspect of our game.”
Now that the team knows that they will be the last men’s hockey team for Dawson for at least the foreseeable future, they want to leave a lasting legacy.
“I really hope that we can have one last playoff run so that we can leave having accomplished something,” Higgins said.
This will be the only team that Dawson will be eliminated heading into the new school year and hopefully they will get a chance to bring back the team sooner rather than later.