Breaking the ice: is hockey coming to Findlay?

A club hockey team may be in the future of UF club sports

By Paige Falk,

A dedicated group of students is striving to bring an exciting addition to the University of Findlay’s recreational sports; a hockey club. Trey Downard, a passionate freshman at the University shares a vision and a goal.

Downard is no stranger to the world of hockey. He began playing the sport at age three and continued to hone his skills throughout his four years at Findlay High School. However, he and his friends realized they didn’t want to stop playing when starting college.

“It all started when we mentioned the idea to our hockey coaches,” Downard said. “They wanted us to try and get it going and were kind of egging us on to turn it into a reality.”

Downard mentioned that his coach and the coaches of the other students starting up the club all shared a connection; they once played on the NCAA hockey team that Findlay used to have.

UF’s hockey team went from Division II to Division I over the course of eight years, from 1996-2004.

The enthusiastic group teamed up with a Dr. Jon Brasfield, an associate professor of education at the UF. Together, they aim to lay the foundation for the University of Findlay’s hockey club.

The club is currently in its early stages. As Downard explained, the first step is to become an interest group and then proceed with drafting a constitution. This marks the initial phase of their ambitious project.

For practices, the club intends to utilize the Cube, an ice rink located just up Main Street. The team aims to hold three practices a week, recognizing that it’s a club sport and they want to ensure members have a balanced commitment. They also plan to play about two games per week.

They aspire to gain opponents to play by joining the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), which governs more than 390 College and University club affiliated ice hockey programs in the U.S. The league includes teams from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and beyond, offering a diverse array of opponents for the UF’s prospective hockey club.

The club is open to individuals of various skill levels, from beginners to experienced players.

“We’ve already had a few people reach out explaining that they have skated, but have no organized hockey experience,” Downard explains. “But it’s open to anyone. It is all just to play hockey.”

While there’ll likely be fees for ice time and uniforms, the club is actively seeking support from local businesses and potential sponsors.

Downard’s advice to students looking to start sports clubs at the University of Findlay is simple: “Go for it!” He emphasizes that their first step was simply reaching out to university staff and resources, who in their case was Dean Richardson, the assistant director of Recreational Services.

Downard and his team are looking forward to playing hockey with their fellow students at the University of Findlay and hope to see their vision come to life in a year.

For those interested in joining or supporting the University of Findlay’s hockey club, they can connect through the club’s Instagram page, @Oilershky.