The U of M, Crookston club hockey team has cancelled the remainder of its season due to lack of players. The team played six games this season and had about seven series of two games left. The team plays in the American College Hockey Association (ACHA).
"I had been seeing this coming for a little while," said Jeremy Yeager, team coach. "I had been talking with the team president and vice president and making them aware that we can't keep cancelling on teams and we can't not show up."
The hope is to spend this time recruiting players for next season.
"The president, vice president and I, we all three decided if we're not going to play we might as well go out and recruit. If we can get kids to come for the schooling and they're a hockey player it's a bonus. The recruiting process for club hockey is so difficult because kids have high goals coming out of high school. If a kid wants to come to UMC for the schooling and is a hockey player too it’s a bonus for us and the community."
Yeager said it was especially difficult during the beet harvest with a few players driving truck
"We had to cancel on NDSU earlier this year and we were supposed to go to Duluth a couple weeks ago and couldn't get enough players to go," explained Yeager. "It's tough to cancel on other teams and with just 13 guys you can't miss three guys and expect to compete. The ACHA is a great league and we are hoping they understand our situation. We haven't officially cancelled the season but we had a player meeting and we agreed the best decision for this season is to step back. We don't want to put other teams in jeopardy of getting to a national tournament and hopefully this will allow them to fill their schedule."
Coach Yeager said he had received an email a couple days ago with a contract to play games with teams and that spurred the cancellation.
Minnesota, Crookston dropped its men's hockey program following the 2008-09 season.