Sault College hockey team plays in American league
Published Wednesday, October 10, 2018 2:41PM EDT
The Sault College Cougars men's hockey team is in its second season.
To find competitive games, the team has to travel to Michigan regularly to play in an American college League.
Most weekends, you will normally find the players sitting on the team bus heading from one rink to another.
"Honestly, I didn't know what to expect. So, the first few games against Ferris State went our way, which was nice, but last weekend against Davenport, that was kind of an eye opener, our first game. It's actually a lot better hockey than you think." said Andrew Barbeau, a first year defenseman.
This is the second year that the cougars are playing in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, or ACHA. In fact, they are the only Ontario team playing in the league across the border.
"Well, the biggest thing is they play full sixty minute periods, they play body contract. The league we use to play here on this side, they mainly used to be a tournament type of set up." said head coach Mike Hall.
The opportunity allows players to take part in a 30 game regular season, finishing their hockey career at home in the Soo, while getting an education.
"It means so much, playing in front of my parents, friends, family. Like you said, it's pretty cool and I'm looking forward to it." said first year player Mark Tassone.
"Yeah, it's definitely nice. It's good to be home, be around family. I haven't been around family, haven't been in the Sault for a few years for junior hockey, it's obviously nice to be home, around my mom, my dog, just a good feeling." said Barbeau.
In order to be involved in the American league, the cougars play 24 of their 30 games on the road.
Because the Cougars were a first year program last year, they were not allowed to play in the playoffs, even though they finished with a regular season record of 12 wins, one loss and two overtime losses.
They're looking for redemption this year by not only winning their division, but they want to qualify for the national championship in Dallas, Texas.