Club hockey stays hot on the ice with 18-0-2 record
Published: Monday, January 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
While they may not be garnering as much attention as DePaul's other winter sport, the men's club hockey team has been turning heads with their outstanding play this season.
Sitting in third place in the Central division rankings of the ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association), the Blue Demons have recorded an impressive 18-0-2 record. With only two overtime losses to their name thus far, the team has had few problems defeating any opponent sent their way.
"So far, this season has been pretty great," said senior goalie Cory Netrefa, who has made 209 saves and has a goals against average of 2.93 in 11 games played.
"We've had a few bumps in the road, but overall we've been a very competitive team," said Netrefa. "We're beating the teams that we should and battling to the end with the top class teams."
Netrefa attributes some of their success to the deepness of their lineup, which includes seven incoming freshmen that have fit in nicely at their respective positions with the rest of the team.
"Our offensive power is unbelievable," said Netrefa. "We really have been such a dominant team because of the number of goals we can score in key moments of games and shut other teams' momentum down."
Cody Staehely as well cites depth as a major strength for this team moving forward.
"We have 5 lines of forwards that can all play and we have 4 defensive pairs that also are very talented," he said.
Such dominance has the team focused on only one goal at the end of the season: "to get to the national tournament and ultimately win the title," said Netrefa.
"We missed it last year by getting upset by Michigan so we'll be doing everything we can to win from here on out," said Netrefa, whose own goal is to finish the season with a save percentage above 90 percent. At 87 percent right now, he is not far off achieving
In order to do so, the team will need to be at full strength to face the inevitable increase in competition levels among rival teams.
"As far as improvements go, I think we need to play a full 60 minute game night in and night out," said Staehely. "There are times throughout the game where we get a bit sluggish. So if there is one thing, it's we need to start playing all 60 minutes."
Netrefa noted his own battles with injuries in the past, requiring hip surgery almost two years ago. In his last year at DePaul, Netrefa just wants to stay healthy. In his words, "so far, so good."
Staehely has nothing but kind words the senior goal keeper as well as the future of club hockey.
"We have a great freshman group as well," he said. "They have all played great night in and night out. Our goaltending has been outstanding also. Cory Netrefa had been unbelievable. He prepares himself very well which transfers into the game."
Club hockey will test its strengths next against a ranked Central Michigan University team on their home ice of Northshore Ice Arena on Jan. 27.