Aggies Fall to Spartans in West Regional Playoffs...

By Aggie Hockey Team News

The 2013 - 2014 season has come to a close for the Texas A&M University Ice Hockey Team as they fall to the San Jose State Spartans in the West Regional playoffs by a score of 0 - 4. This season was one to remember however, with the Aggies finishing with their highest ever ranking at #8. Thank you to all the fans for making this season a special one indeed!


Aggies Finish at #8...Head to West Regional Playoffs...

By Aggie Hockey Team News

The regular season is complete and the Aggies have finished with their highest ever ranking at #8. They now head to Flagstaff, Arizona to start the West Regional Playoffs. The Aggies face San Jose State at 2:30 PM Saturday. WHOOP!


Aggies Close First Half With Wins Over UT...

By Aggie Hockey Team News

Coldness swept over the state on Friday, but the Aggies heated up the ice in Cedar Park against long-time rival University of Texas Longhorns to finish the first half of the hockey season. Friday night presented a closely played game with the Aggies eventually winning by a score of 3 - 2. Saturday afternoon was a totally different game, all Aggies, in route to a 8 - 1 victory. The Aggies start the second half of the hockey season on the road in Arizona for a four game set against Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University.


Aggies Shutout TCU for Semester Finale...

By Aggie Tina Robinson

The Aggie Ice Hockey Team played their final home stand of the semester against the TCU Horned Frogs last weekend and went out with a bang. Goalies Paul Hinojo and Ethan Palmer each earned a shut out Friday and Saturday night respectively. TCU, who played with a short bench, put up a combined 22 shots over the weekend, but the Aggies proved to be too much for the Frogs. A&M would end the weekend having scored 14 goals.

Post-game, I chatted with Hayden Pritchard, Ethan Palmer and Sean Lester about the weekend and how the team is doing with half of a season in the books.

Palmer on getting a shut out:

“It feels really good. I’ve had a lot of support from the guys, and it was a lot of fun. I had a little bit of nerves coming in but I saw some shots in the first that let me settle into the game.”

… On staying focused on low-shooting games:

“In between when I had periods with not a lot of shots, I’d skate around and think about the game and what I would do in different situations. Stay warm and keep the legs moving.”

… On the previous weekend’s road trip to OU:

“It was a good learning experience. Obviously, playing a D1 team the expectations aren’t to go there and run the show. We’re there to learn and see how they play at that level and to test ourselves. Maybe in two or three years down the road we can play on that level.”

Lester on playing TCU:

“The in-state games are a challenge in a number of ways. This weekend kept us on our toes. For us, on Friday to start out a little slow, to re-group, and tell ourselves we have to work harder to work at the level we were a week ago, or several weeks ago in California … we have to play at that level each and every time we step on the ice. That’s mental. You show up to a game, you think whatever you think. Maybe you’ve had an off day, maybe it’s the opponent, maybe it’s whatever … but to have that mentality. We re-grouped in the first period and it just kind sky-rocketed from that in the second and third period.”

“It was a big win Friday, and then today their goalie stood on his head. He played really well, and I think they skated with a little more intensity. I don’t know what the difference was, but they skated better. I think we still beat them pretty good, but it’s a good weekend. Two more wins, adds to the total. That’s all that matters: if we’re picking up wins every weekend that’s what we’re here to do.”

Pritchard on being ranked #7:

“That’s the highest we’ve been ranked as an organization, as a club so it’s a pretty cool accomplishment. It speaks volumes for the program we’ve established and over the years. We’ve had the same kind of records before but to do it year after year they finally start looking at it and say, “Okay. A&M’s not #10 and they’re sliding in the back door. They’re a team to play, a team to beat.” It’s a good feeling, but at the same time we just go out there and play the next weekend.”

Lester on building a team identity:

“It is a constant process. We’ve had a lot of fluctuation of guys in and out. That happens on any team. Guys get hurt, things happen. But as a team, some of these trips have built up that unity. Every year you have that turnover rate and you wonder, “What’s this team going to be like?” But I think it’s definitely happening and you’re starting to see guys meshing and gelling out there. Lines are clicking for sure. This weekend we were able to switch things up, just to see. In the future if things aren’t working we can say, “Well this worked a couple weeks ago. Let’s try that.” That’s a good example.”

“In the locker room everything’s been a ten on a ten scale. Everybody’s having a good time with each other. We have a good group of guys. We’re going to stuff coming up here where we do some team bonding things. It’s all worth being a part of. We skate off the ice and everybody’s still hanging out with each other. It’s coming together, it certainly is. I like where it’s at.”


Bit Rambusch Named Defenseman of the Month...

By Aggie Hockey Team News

Bit Rambusch has earned the Harrow Defenseman of the Month honors. The stout defender continues to see top minutes for the nation’s team point leader at the Division II level. Rambusch is just off a point-per-game pace with 14 points in the Aggies 15 contests to date. He was held off the scoresheet just twice in October as the Aggies continue to hold one of the most impressive records in the West Region.


Aggies Blank Horned Frogs...

By Aggie Hockey Team News

The Aggies did not allow a single goal this past weekend against the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs in a series sweep winning Friay night by a score of 8 - 0 and on Saturday by a score of 6 - 0. The team takes a week off before traveling to Dallas and facing the Dallas Baptist University Patriots.


Aggies Ranked 7th...

By Aggie Hockey Team News

The A&M Ice Hockey Team is currently ranked 7th in the ACHA West Region making this the highest ranking in team history. The Aggies play at home this weekend against Texas Christian University. Friday night game time is 7:30 PM and Saturday night is 5:45 PM. Come out and cheer the Aggies on to victory.


Weekend of Hat Tricks...

By Tina Robinson

A&M continued to dominate on home ice Friday and Saturday night as they took on the Texas State Bobcats. It was a two-game home-stand that saw the Aggies outscore their opponents 26-6 and gave fans plenty to cheer about. When all was said and done three Aggies earned hat tricks over the weekend: Gene Constantine (both nights), Chris Turner and Kwinn Mazzilli.

In games with scores that lopsided, it gave the Aggies the chance to put some of the newer faces on the ice. Rookie goaltender Ethan Palmer took over for the second half of the game on Saturday night. “It was a lot of fun. It was a little nerve wracking at first but I got settled in quick,” he said after the game. Chase Mazzilli, who was a redshirt last year, echoed that sentiment. “I’m loving it,” he said. “Last year on the practice squad was fun, but being out here and playing is where it’s at.”

For the team captain Hayden Pritchard, who has seen his fair of the Bobcats over the years, it was all about getting any chance to play. “They showed up both nights and played 60 minutes. We can’t complain about that. They didn’t just roll over after they were down a few goals. They were still challenging us, still going to the corners. That’s all we ask. No matter what the score, we just want to play.”

And even when facing teams like the Bobcats where the Aggies clearly have the upper hand, the message is the same: work ethic. After a slower start on Saturday night, I asked defenseman Zach Steelman what the message from Coach Boyle was between periods. He responded, “Just work. He called us in and that was the only thing he said: ‘Work.’” Reflecting on the season as a whole, he added: “I think we’re playing a lot better this year. I think we’re playing like more of a team and working harder, and that’s what makes a difference.”

This weekend also marked the end of the first round for ACHA rankings. The Aggies expect to make the top 10 in their division. Although it’s not a major focus for the team, Pritchard commented that “it’s a lot easier to stay up there than it is to catch up in the latter half of the season.”

Next up for the Aggies is a road trip to Oklahoma to face the Division I Sooners. “It will be a learning experience,” Pritchard noted. “Playing the Division I teams, it’s real quick. When you make a mistake it’s real obvious. It’s good as far as that’s concerned because you’ll see your mistakes a lot quicker. It’s not fun because they end up in the back of the net, but it’s a good learning tool.” Steelman added, “It’s a test. It’s the test.”


Aggies Tame Bobcats...

By Aggie Hockey Team News

The Texas A&M Ice Hockey team erupted on offense over the weekend against the Texas State Bobcats scoring 26 goals with several players having hat tricks in route to victories on Friday night by a score of 11 - 4 an on Saturday by a score of 15 - 2. The team now travels to Oklahoma to face the Oklahoma University Sooners this Friday and Saturday night.


Aggies Sweep DBU in First Ever Meeting...

By Tina Robinson

After spending the past three weekends on the road, hockey returned to Aggieland this weekend in a double-header against the Dallas Baptist University Patriots. It was the first time the two teams faced each other, and the Aggies set out to prove just why they are the best in Texas.

Friday Night - It was a scoreless first period, but rookie Aaron Wright found the back of the net early on in the second period. The Aggies never looked back. Also scoring for the Aggies was Gene Constantine, Kwinn Mazzilli, Bit Rambusch, Brett Young and Hayden Pritchard for a final score of 6-2. Fans were faced with a scary moment in the second period when Chris Turner left the game for repairs after being pushed into the boards. Before leaving the game, Turner had two assists on the night.

Saturday Night - The Aggies started out a little slower on Saturday night, giving up a goal to DBU in the first few minutes of the game. Chaz Mazzilli would tie it mid-way through the first period followed by the go-ahead goal scored by Hayden Pritchard with 12 seconds left in the period. A&M would continue their domination of DBU to pull out a 7-2 victory. The team is now 11-3-0-1 on the season and undefeated at home.

After the game, I sat down with Captain Hayden Pritchard and forwards Derek Hoefer and Brett LaPlante. LaPlante, who is in his rookie season, scored his first Aggie goal on Saturday night. I asked him how it felt to finally put up numbers: “[It was the] first goal that I actually was on the ice for. I stole one of Chase’s in Cali.” He added, “It’s always good to score. You’ve got these guys pulling for me all year. It’s good to finally put one in the net.”

Since this was the first time that A&M had played DBU, there was some question as to which team would come out on top. Derek Hoefer explained, “Our biggest concern was to quiet them down and we pretty much did that. That was our main goal – go out and prove to them that we are the best in Texas.” Pritchard continued, “We did what we had to do. There wasn’t anything real tough about it; we didn’t change a whole lot. We just went out and played our game.” DBU will get another crack at A&M at the end of November when the Aggies travel to Dallas.

The Aggies came into this weekend having spent the past three weeks on the road. In that time the boys racked up a 5-1-0-1 record. One area for the team that has been stellar this season is goal tending. Both Tony Girard and Alex Wolfe have shown that they deserve to be starters. “We have two all-star goalies. It’s a good problem to have,” laughed Hoefer.

The road trips also gave the Aggies time to bond with each other. “It was a lot of fun getting to hang out with the guys. You get to see them every day. It’s always good to grow closer to the team,” LaPlante reflected.

Next weekend the Aggies will be home again taking on Texas State at 5:45 on Friday and Saturday night.


Aggies Complete Sweep of Patriots...

By Aggie Hockey Team News

The Texas A&M Ice Hockey team played the second game against the Dallas Baptist University Patriots on Saturday night in College Station. The Patriots opened the scoring in the first period, but the Aggies eventually got on the board and never looked back in route to a 7 - 2 victory. The Aggies face-off against Texas State this Friday and Saturday both games at 5:45 PM each night.


Aggies Take Game One From Patriots...

By Aggie Hockey Team News

The Texas A&M Ice Hockey team welcomed the Dallas Baptist University Patriots to College Station Friday night as new opponents to this year's schedule. The game was evenly played through the first period ending with neither team scoring. The Aggies eventually got on the board in the second period in route to a victory by a score of 6 - 2. The same two teams face-off tomorrow night once again at 5:45 PM.


West Coast Road Trip Good For Aggies...

By Aggie Hockey Team News

The Texas A&M Ice Hockey team traveled to the west coast, sunny California last weekend and played a three game scehdule where they went 2-0-1. Thursday night the team defeated the Cal-State Fullerton Titans by a score of 7-5. Friday night was a tough shootout loss to the Loyola Marymount Lions by a score of 2-3. Saturday, the team defeated the Long Beach State 49ers by a score of 9-5.

The team comes home this week to face the Dallas Baptist Patriots on Friday and Saturday. Game time is 5:45 PM both nights. Come out and cheer the Aggies to victory!


One for the Road: Aggies Win at Home Before Road Trips...

By Tina Robinson

This weekend’s meeting against the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners highlights some of the challenges that face club hockey in Texas. Due to a combination of circumstances, on Friday afternoon UTSA was still trying to find enough players to make the trip to College Station. Rather than lose out on a chance to play, A&M lent a goalie to the Roadrunners and called in some friends to make up a large enough bench for UTSA to play. With ice time at a premium, it was important to A&M not to miss out on any opportunities to hone their craft and continue to bond as a team. For UTSA, a team that is struggling along without a coach, it was about getting any chance to play.

And so about a half an hour after it was scheduled to start, the Aggies took to the ice, in what should really be called a scrimmage, against the UTSA roadrunners. When all was said and done, the scoreboard read 19-0. A&M rookie goalie Ethan Palmer, who tended goal for the Roadrunners, faced over 70 shots. Chris Turner earned a hat trick and would finish the night with four goals and First Star of the game honors. Saturday night was treated much the same way resulting in a second 10-0 win. But it wasn’t about running up the scoreboard for the Aggies. This was a chance to work on plays and get guys adjusted to Coach Boyle’s systems.

Last weekend fourteen members of the team traveled to Oklahoma to face Oklahoma Central University’s Broncos in their opening weekend. While everyone back home was enjoying Bama weekend, the ice hockey team faced the Broncos Friday and Saturday in 0-5 and 0-8 losses. OCU is an ACHA Division I team who last year was ranked #15 for Nationals. Captain Hayden Pritchard describes those sorts of games as “learning experiences” and opportunities for the team to build character. “One of the things we really took from the first Texas games and then going up there last weekend is just working north-south. Trying to really get the speed going, get guys moving. You know, not so much of the pretty stuff, just working hard.”

He also notes that trips to Oklahoma help introduce rookies to the level of play the Aggies will face throughout the season. “A lot of guys have never played at that speed, that level. It’s a totally different game,” he says. “The move from Midgets to here is a big jump for a lot of guys. And from here up to the Division I level. It’s not a huge jump, but they do all the little things right.”

Back in Aggieland, that process of team building was in full effect on Friday and Saturday night. Defenseman Sean Lester explains the importance of forward-thinking: The big trips that come up, whether it’s to California or to Oklahoma again. Those are the types of things that define your season. Every game counts, no doubt, but those are the big ones, and you’re building toward that every week.”

All of this will be needed in the upcoming weeks. First the team will travel to Austin next weekend to play the Texas State Bobcats and to Dallas the following weekend to square off against University of North Texas. Lester notes, “That will be two big weekends to prove and show what kind of a team we are, what we can go through to beat two quality teams.” Finally, the Aggies will spend the first weekend in October in California, for the first of two trips out west scheduled this season. Hockey will return to Spirit Ice arena on October 18th when A&M hosts Dallas Baptist University.


Mazzilli Scores Hatrick as Aggies Sweep Longhorns...

By Aggie Hockey Team News

The Texas A&M Ice Hockey team opened the 2013-2104 season by sweeping the Texas Longhorns over the weekend. Kwinn Mazzilli scord a natural hatrick in Friday nights game leading the Aggies to an 11-2 victory. Saturday night, the team used a more balanced scoring attack in route to a 6-2 victory. The team travels to Oklahoma next weekend to face the University of Central Oklahoma Broncos on Friday and Saturday.


It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Hockey Season...

By Tina Robinson

Friday night the A&M men’s ice hockey team held their annual Maroon and White game. For fans, friends and family, the Maroon and White game is the first opportunity to say hello to familiar faces and scope out some new ones. It’s also a time for the boys to shake the rust off the skates as they prepare for the upcoming season. After a week-long training camp, the team was eager to show fans what was in store for this year. Even though the White team handed Maroon a solid 7-3 defeat, the night was less about goals and more about building that all-important team dynamic. After the game, I sat down with Captain Hayden Pritchard and senior Chris Turner to catch up with them and talk about the 2013-2014 hockey season.

When asked how they felt about the game, Chris commented, “[It was] very fun. It was a good experience. It’s good to be back in the maroon and white and get out there and play hockey.”

“It’s a good way to end camp, guys have been working hard all week so it’s rewarding. Even for the guys who may not make the team, it’s a good opportunity for them. They get to wear the colors. They worked hard all week too… It definitely gives you the itch to want to be back in season.”

One of the challenges early on in the season is getting everyone back into tip top shape. With wildly varying summer schedules and access to ice time often difficult, training camp is essential to getting everyone on the same page. Hayden explained, “Especially in the summertime, you know, ice time is expensive. So it’s a lot of off-ice stuff. Turner does a lot of dry land running. I didn’t go to the gym once, but I did stuff in my front yard: plyos, lunges… stuff to keep my legs going. Try to be in somewhat decent shape coming into camp.”

Training camp is split into two 1-hour sessions. The first day is dedicated to skating, and each day the time spent skating is decreased by fifteen minutes. Turner described the process as “pretty grueling” but quickly noted, “It’s what we need to get back in shape, we need to get used to the higher pace of play and get faster.” That conditioning will be crucial for the team going forward as they face a tougher schedule this season, including 24 road games.

Pritchard shared his thoughts on the schedule, “It’s always fun playing the Longhorns, but at the same time they moved the schedule around and it’s a little bit better for us as far as rankings. It’s a little more competitive schedule. We play a couple more teams around Texas which is good. [We can] really prove ourselves so that everybody knows that we’re the best here in Texas.”

We ended our chat discussing what goals the team hoped to accomplish this year. “It’s pretty unspoken at this point that Regional Playoffs are something that we will make this year. It’s not really a goal, but a check point for us. We will go to Regionals,” says Hayden.

“Another unspoken goal is being undefeated in the state of Texas,” adds Chris. “We always say we’re the best in Texas. Every season we’ve proved it, proved it. We want to go undefeated in Texas just to make sure in everyone’s minds they know that if you want to play college hockey in Texas, go to Texas A&M.”

They will get their first shot at realizing those goals on September 6th when they play the Longhorns at home.