Ranked fourth at the end of their 2016-17 season, the UCF Knights Ice Hockey team is preparing for another big year, starting with team tryouts later this month.
Ending with a 14-6-2 record, including big wins against teams such as the USC Gamecocks, the Knights are looking to improve before the regular season begins in late Sept.
Rising senior and assistant captain for the Knights, Casey Greenberg is one of the many players looking for a big run in 2017.
“We started off really well and [we] were the number one division in the first half last year. It was disappointing at the end but we’ll be stronger next year,” Greenberg said.
In 99 games played with the Knights, Greenberg has scored a total of 35 goals, assisting in scores 41 other times. Totaling 76 points, Greenberg is one of the most efficient players on a team trying to fill some holes left from 2016 player departures.
“Since myself and Eric Knopple are going on our fifth year, I’d say we will be a big asset for our team, especially for the younger guys.”
With only two seniors remaining in 2017, Greenberg commented that upcoming sophomore goalie Benjamin Thibault will continue to be a major asset to the fall season.
With a 9-4 record to his name, Thibault has allowed only 46 goals through his two seasons on the ice, making a total of 386 saves.
But Thibault isn’t the only player to catch Greenberg’s eye.
“The only new recruit I’ve seen play is Andrew Schneider. He’s a transfer from Miami Ohio and played on their division two club team so he’s really solid.”
With Schneider being one of the first recruits to join the Knights, the hockey team should be able to build a decent bench to support their starters. In 2016, as the Knights approached the midseason point, there was an increase in scoring and wins while playing on home ice. But a tough time on the road in the second half gave the Knights something to focus on.
The Knights have had a fair competition between the FGCU Eagles over the last few years. Greenberg says they’re UCF’s “biggest rival.”
Aiming to skate towards the top of the ACHA Division III standings under coach Sean Weaver, the Knights are slated for tough games in 2017 against teams such as Hope College and Oakland University.
For those looking to try out, hopeful players can visit http://pointstreaksites.com/view/ucfhockey/recruitment-17.