Hockey fans drawn to intramurals

Intramural hockey play began March 16 at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

“Everyone just has such an enthusiasm and excitement to be at the rink playing,” said junior Joanna Nagle, an intramural hockey referee and lifelong hockey fan. “When everyone is this excited and happy to be there it makes officiating really fun.” Nagle said she loves to see the different ability levels and enjoys refereeing all of them.

The skill is great whether it is the men’s A players bringing the competition to greater levels or the other leagues where high-level players are moving the puck around a bit more to get everyone involved in the game, Nagle said.

Nagle’s only complaint about the league is a common one: she wishes the season was longer.

Many teams only get to play four or five games and would prefer to play a season closer to eight, Nagle said.

Junior Steven Ushakov, an intramural and club hockey player, has competed in several of the leagues offered by the intramural department. He said his favorite part about the men’s A league is how competitive the hockey is.  He noted how the teams in the league seem to be relatively even in skill and often have close games.

Ushakov also enjoys the corec league, citing how the atmosphere on the rink seems to change to a more for fun, carefree style of hockey. Ushakov recommends the addition of some media coverage of intramural games. He feels many students would love to see things such as GoPro footage or in-game photos on the intramural hockey website.

For some, intramural hockey provides an opportunity to reconnect with friends and get on the ice. Senior JP Benoit is currently in his fourth year of intramural hockey, and has played with the same team for all four years. In intramurals, different hockey enthusiasts are given the opportunity to create a team with their friends and compete against other student teams.

UVM has a vast intramural hockey program ranging in skill levels. Levels of play include men’s A , men’s B  and the league for both men and women. The mix of these leagues provides all levels and abilities the option to play in an environment they are capable and comfortable in, according to the Campus Rec website. To sign up, a team must have at least 6 players, including a goalie, according to the Campus Recreation website.

“It’s great getting to play on the same team as all the kids I grew up playing against,” he said. “We’ve been on the same team every year for intramural hockey and have a blast every time.”