Elon University’s club ice hockey team will venture to the Washington D.C. metro area to take part in the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League’s division II fall showcase at the St. James rink in Springfield, Virginia this upcoming weekend.
The showcase, which runs from Nov. 4 to 6, will feature talent from each of the ACCHL’s two division II levels, bringing in schools from up and down the Atlantic coast — allowing for a great pool of competition to come together in one arena.
Virginia native and Elon club hockey vice president sophomore Mason Esworthy said he is excited for the upcoming weekend and expressed how he is looking forward to the teams’ families getting to see them play again.
“I know a lot of the boys are from the north area and we don't get to go up there much, so a lot of their families are gonna come,” Esworthy said.
This year has been one of transition for the Phoenix as the team recently hired a new head coach last August.
“He’s a very enthusiastic coach, so he’s very likable,” team secretary and sophomore Connor Rose said.
Rose said his confidence has not waivered, even with the rocky start to the season, and he is looking forward to this weekend to be able to prove what this team truly has to offer.
“We have some tough opponents, but nothing we haven’t seen before,” Rose said.
The team, which is still searching for their first league win of the year, is looking to take advantage of this opportunity as they take on ACCHL opponents Princeton, George Washington and West Virginia University all in the three-day span.
“We’re still getting our legs under us, we’ve had one full game with everyone there,” Esworthy said. “We’re only 0-1 in the league so not too big of a deal.”
Esworthy also said he is confident that they will be able to turn things around this weekend even with them carrying a very young roster this year.
“We’re definitely young, we’re taking 24 kids to D.C.,” Esworthy said. “I’d say 15 of those are freshmen.”
Though youthful, Esworthy describes these freshmen as “the real deal” and is confident in the program's future. He hopes that this weekend can be a sort of launch for helping them achieve their ultimate goal of a national championship.
“I definitely see this could be the first time that we make the playoffs in program history,” Esworthy said.
First puck drop for the team comes on Friday Nov. 4 at 4:45 p.m. against Princeton University. To stay updated with the team, make sure to follow @ElonUHockey across all platforms.