Hockey boils down to a few key ingredients: blood, sweat, determination, stamina, skill, and sharp skates. Two of Wittenberg’s upperclassmen ice hockey players have played for practically their whole lives to perfect their passes, sharpen their slap shots, and easily slide a puck down the ice at rocket speed into their opponent’s goal.
Andy Kennedy, senior forward, and Shane Hartlaub, junior center, are very excited to return for another year of hockey. Especially because a new year means a new ice rink is to be built in downtown Springfield.
According to the Springfield News-Sun, the $7.5 million ice rink is expected to open by Oct. 15. The Columbus-based business Chiller LLC will manage the arena and employ up to 20 people. They will be responsible for all marketing surrounding the ice arena, which many hope will bring an air of professionalism to the rink.
Both players have been playing hockey since a very young age.
“I’ve been playing since I was four or five. We’re a big hockey family,” said Kennedy. “My dad had me watching Bobby Orr videos since I was a little kid.”
Hartlaub was introduced to hockey through a different channel.
“A buddy I played soccer with got me into hockey when I was real little,” said Hartlaub. “[At home] we weren’t a big hockey family until I joined. Then my mom started playing with a team after playing with me in a parents-kids game.” Hartlaub’s mother stopped playing, because her games conflicted with his, and she wanted to be at his college games.
Both veterans of the ice have seen their fair share of injuries over the years, but none too gruesome to scare them off.
“I’ve seen skates on wrists, people bleeding out on the ice,” said Kennedy. “One guy was real bad, every time his heart beat, blood spurt from his wrist.”
Hartlaub has had stitches twice, other than that both have escaped significant injuries, something that the sport is known for.
“We had a team mate break his collar bone and forearm, but nothing too bad,” said Hartlaub.
The team returns this year, but to a new rink to call their home.
“It’ll be nice when the new rink in Springfield opens,” said Kennedy. “More ice time and no practices at 11 p.m.”
Currently the team practices in Kettering at late and highly inconvenient hours in the night, with practices usually starting at 10:30 or 11:00 p.m.
Having games in Kettering has been problematic too.
“We rarely had home games. This year we have six already scheduled and more on the way, hopefully,” said Kennedy.
“It will definitely be easier to get to, for us and for students who want to come to our games. Most of our games have been away in the past few years, so it hasn’t been easy to see us play,” said Hartlaub.
The new rink will be within walking distance of the campus, and the hockey team is currently working with alumni to raise money to have their own locker room at the facility. These two roommates have other reasons to be excited about the prospect of their own locker room.
“Our basement has become the loading dock, the central hub for gear, it smells awful,” said Kennedy. “You can’t take a bag of smelly gear back to the dorm, so we have someone donate their basement every year. It’ll be great if we don’t have to lug gear home.”
The team currently has 11 players, down from 15 last year, with four, including the founder and goalie, graduating.
“We’re always looking for more players, guys who want to keep going with hockey in college,” said Kennedy.
Off the ice, their personal hockey favorites, Kennedy idolizes the Boston Bruins, and Hartlaub’s loyalties lie with the Columbus Blue Jackets.