Club climbs up ranks

“Whatever you do, sign your name to it.”These are the words that Josh Langer lives by, and his name has definitely left a lasting mark on the UVM club ice hockey team; a team that he played for only a few short years ago, and a team that he has coached for the last four years.”No one knows this team better than I do,” Langer said. “I helped get it off the ground when I was at school. It’s my baby.”The incredible amount of effort put into the club by Langer has certainly paid off. This season the team is currently 4-1 and enjoying their first year in the prestigious American Collegiate Hockey Association, Division II.The team has seen dramatic improvements even from last season, as shown by their record this season compared to last season, which they finished 7-8.”Each year we’ve gotten much better talent,” said Langer. “I’ve actually had to cut players that were on the team last year.”To what does he attribute the turnaround? The answer comes in two words one could find in any introductory business class: competition and marketing.”Our team is really based on capitalism, on competition,” Langer noted. “If you don’t play well you’re not getting in [the game]. [The players] understand that we’re trying to be the best team possible.”The amount of publicity the team has created for itself has attracted plenty of talent to the roster. With the help of the activities fair, as well as the increase in advertisements around campus, many former high school skaters have been drawn to the club. It acts as a non-varsity outlet for hockey that they may otherwise have never known existed.Junior goalkeeper and club president Andrew Boepple agrees on the “capitalist” system the club works under. “I think there’s a new sense of seriousness on the team this year,” he said. “The team meets every Wednesday night without coaches. Everyone’s working hard to make this a successful season. We all share the workload.”The American Collegiate Hockey Association is “an organization of College/University affiliate programs which provides structure, regulates operations and promotes the quality of collegiate ice hockey,” the league’s official website states. It is broken down in to three divisions and then further separated into geographical regions.The University of Vermont is in the Northeast region alongside fellow Hockey East rival’s clubs such as Northeastern, UMass and UNH, as well as division III varsity squads, including M.I.T and Bates College.The four Division II regions (Northeast, Southeast, Central and West) hold playoffs in February, followed by a national playoff held in Fort Collins, Colorado, in early March.The team’s next home game comes on Saturday, Dec. 2 against Bryant University, followed the next day with a game against Endicott College. Both games will be played at Gutterson Fieldhouse.