Concordia’s men’s hockey team currently has a MIAC record of 8-6-0 heading into the end of their 2013 season. While the season hasn’t been perfect, constantly working on peeking their performance and realizing what they need to work on has enabled the Cobbers to keep going.
Forward Benjamin Payne said that defense has been a struggle for the team this season, largely due to an influx of rookie players.
“We lost a lot of key defensive players who were older,” Payne said. “Our team (is) mostly freshman and sophomore (defensive players). (They’ve) risen to the occasion but have had some learning curves.”
Defensive end Caleb Suderman thinks the team has had some trouble starting.
“We need to have better starts,” Suderman said. “We wait for the other team to start.”
The players said the team has improved its game throughout the season. From upping their offensive play to improving their attitude towards games, the team has taken a turn for the better, according to Payne.
“Historically (we’ve been) a strong defense team,” Payne said. “This is the most I’ve seen the offensive side improve (during my) years at Concordia.”
The players said that the team has become a close-knit group this season and attributed much of their successes to good bonding. Defensive end Maxwell Smith said that studying together, having team dinners and hanging out on weekends are all things that have helped the men grow closer. Smith said he thinks the close relationship between team members has helped them on the ice.
“We bonded well early in the season,” Smith said. “This relates to how well we’ve done. Even with some losses, we’ve played well.”
Suderman said he attributes this to the team’s positive attitude.
“Keeping a positive attitude and having a lot of energy (has helped),” Suderman said.
Suderman said he thinks even though the team has endured some losses, they have been able to come together and not let this bring their sprits down.
“We do a good job of not giving up,” Suderman said.