MARQUETTE — There’s a sports team at Northern Michigan that is currently 15–2. It’s not the basketball teams. It’s not the Nordic skiing team. It’s not the swimming teams. It’s the hockey team, but not Walt Kyle’s boys. It’s the women’s club hockey team and their play demands you attention.
The team is coming off a big season last year where they traveled to York, Pennsylvania to participate in the national tournament. Women’s hockey doesn’t get much press but these girls have fun on and off the ice.
“They’re a fun group. They joke around. They banter back and forth with each other. Winning is fun. Everyone’s in a better mood when you win. But it is a good group. They have fun with each other. There is no drama. They’re a good, tight group,” head coach Sean Parker said.
“Honestly this team is my family. I’m from six and a half hours away. They’re my best friends. That’s who I hang out with 24/7. They’re my support group. Everything I do is normally with them,” said defenseman Macy Schultz.
“I think being so close with one another really helps our chemistry. We hang out with each other all the time. We’re always together. We spend a lot of time together practicing every day so obviously, we’re with each other all the time so that definitely helps with the team aspect,” defenseman Kelsey Weyland said.
Their current record would be considered a huge success at any level of play and there’s only one thing that can lead to winning like that.
“It’s definitely team work. We all have the drive. Every time we come in the locker room, we joke around. But right when we step on the ice, we know what we have to do. It’s hard work and I don’t know if a lot of people know but we don’t get paid to play so it’s out of our own money and we just play for the love of the game so I think a lot of it is heart and that’s something you can’t really teach people,” Schultz said.
The women will be at the Berry Events Center taking on Rainy River Community College out of International Falls, Minnesota…an opponent they know very well.
“They were one of the team’s that beat us this year. They are now ranked fourth as we are now ranked number one in the region. They’re a really skilled team. They have a short bench but every single one of those girls can play at a high level so we’ll see how that goes,” Parker said.
“They’ve been our biggest rivals. Last year, we played them probably four or five times. We lost every single time so this is like a huge game, redemption for us. And this is our first time playing them on our own home ice so it’s definitely a huge advantage for us,” said Weyland.
There will be a game on Saturday and Sunday, and the team is asking the community to come and support them because it will serve as a big boost for the team’s confidence.
“Just having the support of your fans…it just gets your adrenaline going and makes you want it even more. And just people in general that want you to win and are cheering on Northern Michigan. It would help us want it even more than we do,” Schultz said.
“It’s great hockey. It’s high level. It’s fun. We’re giving away stuff this weekend for people to show up. It’s good hockey. Come watch and support the community and support Northern Michigan,” said Parker.
“I think people should come out just because I know a lot of people don’t even know Northern has a women’s hockey team. I know just because it’s a club sport it’s not as respected as a varsity sport and people just don’t give us enough credit. But I think if they came to watch us and see how competitive we are and see how well we work together as and I think would gain a lot of respect and support not only from the students, but from the community as a whole and I think that would help us a lot,” Weyland said.
Saturday’s game will start at 1pm and Sunday’s game will be at 11am. You can see both of those games at the Berry free of charge.