On Sunday, February 19th, hockey fans across the United States celebrate the coolest game on earth by lacing up their skates and hitting the ice, wearing their favorite team's jersey or purchasing tickets to see the action live, as leagues across the country promote the sport through USA Hockey's "Hockey Day Across America" initiative.
As part of the day's events, the St. Thomas Aquinas College Club Ice Hockey Team will take on the Hofstra Pride in a 1pm matinee contest at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The arena is the current home of both the New York Islanders and the Brooklyn Nets. Both teams will also view the Metropolitan Division showdown between the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils later in the evening.
In order to participate in the event, St. Thomas Aquinas and Hofstra took part in a fundraising/ticket purchasing campaign to promote the game of hockey, by selling tickets to the Islanders/Devils match-up. Families and Friends of both players and coaches stepped up and purchased tickets to help both teams reach their established goals and thus make the Sunday afternoon game a reality.
The Spartans are no strangers to Barclays Center, as the Men's Basketball team was victorious over New York Institute of Technology on the hardwood back in December of 2015.
Head Coach Matt Schuster, in his first season as the bench boss of the Spartans and an Islander fan, commented that "playing in the Barclays Center, an NHL arena, means the world to our student-athletes, coaches and to the future of the STAC Hockey Program. It should be a great day of hockey in Brooklyn."
When asked what he most looked forward to about the events of Sunday, Coach Schuster said "seeing the joy on the faces of our players, their families and friends, as we all take part in the game we love, but on a slightly larger stage."
Team Captain Brendan Hunter, a lifelong Boston Bruins fan, remarked that "Sunday's game means a lot to the program. It's a great way to end a productive rebuilding year for the team, by playing inside of a rink that has hosted some of the NHL's greatest stars of today." He also remarked that everyone is excited to put on a show and leave it all on the ice this weekend.
Make no mistake about it, the Spartans are going into this game with the attitude that they want to take this match-up from Hofstra, and once the puck is dropped they will look to win the game and go into the off-season on a positive note. The future has never been brighter for the St. Thomas Aquinas College Club Ice Hockey team, and it's all thanks to the hardwork and dedication of Coach Schuster, his coaching staff and his players.
Please note: For those wishing to attend the Spartans/Pride game, it is free admission. However, to attend the Devils/Islanders game later in the evening, you must purchase a ticket through the Barclays Center or the New York Islanders. Both St. Thomas Aquinas and Hofstra have sold out their ticket allotments.