Season Preview: Men’s Hockey

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The boys are back in town on Friday, Nov. 5 as the Ontario Tech men’s hockey team is set for their home opener against the Nipissing Lakers.
 
This game marks their first regular season game since Feb. 8, 2020.
 
“We’re all pretty excited,” said fifth-year forward and captain Jack Patterson. “It’s going to be quite the jump to get back into game action after about a year and a half of not playing.”
 
The last time the Ridgebacks were on the ice, they had a sluggish start to the season but turned the corner in January, finishing 8-3 in the new year to grab the sixth seed in the OUA playoffs, where they lost a tough three-game series against the Ottawa Gee-Gees. Since then, the Ridgebacks have welcomed a number of new faces to their squad.
 
“We’ve got two years of new recruits coming into this season, so we’re going to be pretty young,” said Patterson.
 
The Ridgebacks will have 11 first-year players on their opening day roster, but Patterson says he’s been impressed by what he’s seen so far.
 
“Everyone looked pretty good when they came into campus, so I’m looking forward to it, and I think we’ll have a good year.”
 
The young Ridgebacks have already been contributing during the preseason, with forward James White scoring against Laurier in their first exhibition game and again in a 5-4 loss to York. Defenceman Kelton Hatcher also contributed to the scoring in the York loss.
 
The Ridgebacks have played in front of a crowd at the Campus Ice Centre throughout the preseason, but Patterson says playing in front of them for the home opener is something his team has thought about for months.
 
“It’s awesome to get fans in the building. Obviously, it brings a little more energy,” said Patterson. “Especially if we can get some parents there who haven’t seen us play in a long time, that would be amazing.”
 



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