The BingU Club Hockey team ranks second in the nation

Binghamton University’s club hockey team ended its season at the Collegiate Hockey Federation (CHF) Cup with silver medals and festive smiles. The Bearcats finished second at the national championships, which ran from March 18 to 23 in Philadelphia. The team had high hopes for the season and was confident in its ability to bring home medals.

“We knew we had a high-grade team with great depth, and we felt like we were playing our best hockey at the right time,” said Nick Galanti, assistant captain and MBA student.

Binghamton University was ranked seventh in the country to participate in the tournament this year. Team members persevered through the tournament to qualify for the medal round at the CHF Cup with their victory against St. Bonaventure on March 21st. The Bearcats did not have the opportunity to compete with St. Bonaventure in the regular season, and went decisively into the game. to prove oneself.

“[St. Bonaventure] won the Upstate New York Club Hockey League (UNYCHL) and we felt like we were failing ourselves by not winning that league, ”said Jack O’Bryan, a junior who specializes in actuarial science and an assistant captain and vice president of the club. “We jumped out to an early lead and we never really got our legs off the gas. We could all see that we were playing our without a doubt our best match of the season and it was really exciting to watch. After winning that game six against one, it felt like a bit of justification for UNYCHL, as well as a fantastic victory that rolled into the Final Four. ”

After their victory against St. Bonaventure Bonnies continued the Bearcats to defeat the Ramapo College Roadrunners on March 22nd. The final score of 5-4 was close, but the team advanced and fought to win a chance at a national championship. While Babson College eventually defeated Binghamton, the hockey team won silver medals for becoming number two in the nation.

“There are over 100 teams in this league and only three will get medals at the end of the year, so we are proud of that,” said Galanti.

Second place went a long way for the team members, who were ranked number one before the COVID-19 pandemic closed the tournament. But the disappointment of going from favorites to winning the championship to being sent home in quarantine did not shatter the players’ dreams, only pushing them to work even harder.

“Our biggest motivation this year was a mix of redemption and of course the huge amount of support we had all season from our friends and family,” O’Bryan said.

O’Bryan expressed his gratitude for the support and encouragement from former teammates throughout the season. The strong friendships between students and alumni are a bond that teammates are eternally grateful for. None of this would have been possible without their love of hockey and Binghamton University’s Club Sports office and staff.

“Having a club hockey team so we can all continue to play the game we love is the greatest thing that Binghamton University has given us,” said Tom Relyea, captain and co-president in the first semester. “We’ve talked about how lucky we are that everyone on our team came to this school at the same time, because not every team is so lucky to have the number of players and the talent we have. Craig [Dube] and Kirstin Loh from Club Sports have been so helpful and supportive to us all year, and we can not thank them enough for that. ”

Galanti is the striker and O’Bryan, Relyea and Max Klares all play defense. The four teammates have each played hockey for the past 18 years, making the end of this season bittersweet for the seniors and soon graduates. Returning students look forward to the future of the team.

“After that, we will enjoy the free season with each other and get ready for next year,” said Max Klares, senior specialist in biochemistry, assistant captain and club president. “We have some older guys who have graduated, but we also have many returning for the coming years. Nick [Galanti] and Tom [Relyea] have to graduate, but they are super sure that our leaders and young guys can carry the torch and ride once again on UNYCHL and CHF. We gained a lot of experience as a group through this race, so now we know what it takes to get back to that point in the national tournament. “

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