Hockey team prepares for Wickenheiser cup finals
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When Andrew Farrell, sophomore, was four years old, he started off playing for Kirkwood. He would’ve never imagined that 11 years later, he would play as center on the Marquette hockey team and be heading to finals March 13, for the Wickenheiser cup against the Westminster Wildcats at the Scottrade Center.
Going into the game, Farrell said he doesn’t feel much pressure and is excited to go out and play.
“We are pretty even with the other team,” Farrell said. “We just got to go out and do all the things we have been doing all season.”
Farrell said the team is very strong in scoring, but has to work on its defense and hitting due to its small size.
“[If we won] it would be something you pretty much remember for the rest of your life,” Farrell said.
David Rapp, vice president of the Marquette Hockey Board of Directors and the father of team captain, Jacob, was one of the people selling sweatshirts on the stage during lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday to promote the hockey club and the game.
“We love to have people show up for the game to get support because it always helps to play in front of your fans,” Rapp said.
The team won two years ago although they didn’t win the title last year, Rapp said it was still a significant year since the team made the higher level play-offs, which is hard to do for the smaller teams.
“It was disappointing to lose, unfortunately,” Rapp said. “But overall it was still a good year.”
This year, the team won a hard-fought game against Fort Zumwalt West at the semi-finals, winning the mini game 2-0, Rapp said, and are excited to chase the cup at the Tuesday’s final game.
“It’s a great chance for the kids to go out on top,” Rapp said. “Especially our seniors who are leaving this year and have a chance to leave as victors in the championship game.”
Rapp said although the win would be great for the board, the true excitement of the game is for the kids.
“[It’s great] any time you can go play at the Scottrade Center, in front of thousands of people,” Rapp said.
Gary Tockman, head coach, said the team has not changed much when it comes to game play from last year even though they didn’t win.
“We kind of do the same things that we’ve always done and hope that it works,” Tockman said.
The semi-finals were a great win because it could’ve gone either way because the team lost the last game of semi-finals but won the mini game, Tockman said.
Tockman also said the team’s strengths lie in the reliance of every player, not only the superstars.
“Everyone needs to carry the weight,” Tockman said.
However, the team also has its weaknesses, one of which is the young age of many of the players, only three of which are seniors, Tockman said. While this might be a problem going in to the game on March 13, the team will be ready to play against Westminster.
“We’re cautiously confident,” Tockman said. “If we execute what we’re good at, we have a good chance of winning.”