SU women’s ice hockey team has tough act to follow
By Mary Beth Roach
Central New York hockey fans may be missing out on some great games if they haven’t been to the Tennity Ice Pavilion on Syracuse University’s South Campus.
The arena at Skytop is the home ice for the SU women’s hockey team, whose 2018-19 season was the best the team has had since the program started in 2008.
At the end of last season, the Orange won their first conference title in the College Hockey America Conference Tournament, going on to its first NCAA tournament berth, where they played against Wisconsin in the opening round.
The team got off to a rough start in the 2019-2020 season when the squad faced off against some of the top college teams in the country. However, once the Orange entered conference play, they matched up against opponents they’re more familiar with.
A win against Union College in late October helped to build the players’ confidence as they began the CHA games and their attempt to retain the conference title.
Fans cheer on the champions while being treated to fast-moving games, and the relatively small size of the Tennity Pavilion adds to the fans’ experience and is great motivation for the team as well.
The size of the pavilion and proximity of the audience to the ice allow fans to better see and appreciate the speed and skills needed to play the game, according to coach Paul Flanagan.
“It’s an intimate rink here. Everyone’s pretty close to the ice, so when we have a big crowd, when we’re having a good game, it makes it more exciting. It makes it that much more intense for us,” according to Logan Hicks, a senior and a co-captain of the team.
Hicks and the other captains lead a team that is culturally diverse, with players coming from various parts of the United States; Canadian provinces including Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, and even Sweden. That mix makes it fun for the team members, she added.
Hicks is from Arizona. What is a girl from a desert climate like Arizona doing playing hockey in Upstate New York? It seems to be in the blood, a family affair. Her father, Alex, and grandfather, Wayne, had professional hockey careers.
The women’s hockey games are free and there are parking lots close to Tennity, with sidewalks leading right up to the front door. There are no stairs to contend with, and there is a ramp to access the stands once inside. Their schedule, rosters and more are available at https://cuse.com/sports/womens-ice-hockey.
“Come to a game, see for yourself. It’s such a fast, fun sport to watch. If you come, you’ll love it,” Hicks said.