CLEARWATER, Fla. — The University of Tampa hockey team is off to a 16-1-1 start and ranked number one out of 153 teams in the Collegiate Hockey Federation.
“This is definitely the best start in UT Hockey’s history,” Spartans forward Stephen Buck said. “We’ve had some good starts for sure, but nothing that continued all the way through.”
The UT hockey team fields two teams, one in Division II and one in Division III. The school has about ten thousand students, but they still compete against the traditional Division I powerhouses, like the University of Georgia, the University of Florida, etc.
“It’s actually crazy going up and playing the University of Buffalo, and Buffalo State,” Spartans defenseman Josey Davis told ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger. “We went up there for a tournament. Where we are so small and we go into these big schools it just gives us an advantage. We have nothing to lose.”
“I think something that is extremely different from other teams we’ve been on is that we have four forward lines that are all scoring,” Spartans forward Grant Parrish added. “That is something unheard of.”
The roster is made up of mostly student-athletes from northern states with a pair of Tampa Bay student-athletes sprinkled in.
“Coming from Minnesota, and playing on a gritty up north team, we a lot of skill level,” Spartans defenseman Michael Pettijohn said. “We have a lot of guys that are fast, good hands, speed, can shoot. That’s one thing we use to our advantage.”
The team practices and plays home games at the Clearwater Ice Arena. When they return from holiday break, they will play South Florida on January 16 at Amalie Arena.