The UC Davis ice hockey team began practice this week, with a new group of recruits beginning their Aggie careers along with many returning players. With the largest class of recruits in recent history, the mix of young and old players brings a unique mix to the team.
"It's tough because I've put a lot of my time into the last four years, so it's kinda sad that it's my last year, but I know that I can just put it all on the table this year," said veteran goaltender Niklas Braun, who has been with the team for the last 4 years. The beginning of this season marks the last season for several other Aggies, including leading scorer Gordon Dickson and seniors Peter Shin, Hanna Hone, and Chris Tse. However, spirits are high as the players look to push forward into an exciting season.
Several Aggies were asked to describe the upcoming season in five words or less. Sophomore Kaz Machida chanted "Guess who's back? Back again?" referring to his sensational rookie season last year. Kaz will play a pivotal role in locking down the blue line this season as he moves back to defense. Goaltender Niklas Braun said, "No more five hole goals," emphasizing his hope that he can play at his peak performance in his final season. Finally, captain Gordon Dickson exclaimed, "Beat Santa Rosa Junior College!" hoping the team can do well against their rivals. Hanna Hone described the upcoming season as "unprecedented, electric, optimistic, united," and "jolly."
Santa Clara University is the team's first test this season. The game will be next Friday at 4:45 in Redwood City.