Hockey gaining popularity as a club sport
Hockey club president Stephen Printup has one message for all Portland State students who have an interest in hockey: “Come play.”
Hockey was established as a club sport in 2007. Since then, the sport has blossomed and progressed year by year. The team has made trips down to Arizona and San Jose for games and gains more players every year.
But the hungry club sport still needs more players.
Portland State’s hockey team practices Mondays at 7 p.m. in the Rec Center. They have equipment available at the practices for anyone who attends. The goal of the club is to change the perspective of hockey at Portland State and throughout the region. That will only happen if the team can continue to grow in popularity.
“We are trying to build up hockey’s reputation on the West Coast because it’s very different from hockey on the East Coast,” Printup said. “We’re trying to build it up to be a premier hockey league.”
This year has been especially eventful for PSU hockey. The team is 10 games into their season, and despite only two wins, it is trying to build a foundation for the future. The club is in the process of making guidelines and creating an organizational backbone that will allow them to build off previous years instead of starting over every season.
The Vikings stand at a record of 2-1-7. Portland State has not played since November, but will host two upcoming games against Western Washington. The games are on Friday, Jan. 20 and Saturday, Jan. 21.
After the games against Western Washington, the Vikings will go on to play six straight on the road. They will return to their home ice Feb. 18 for a two-game home stand against Boise State University.
The club sport is going through some major management changes, as Printup plans to step down as club president. He will be replaced by Tucker Dougherty. Dougherty is a current player and is in the process of learning about the club from Printup.
“It’s a lot to take in right now,” Dougherty said. “Stephen’s done a lot of work and he is making it as painless as possible.”
With ice time costing the club as much as $300 an hour, the only way the hockey club can afford all the costs is through support. That comes in the way of new players. Both Printup and Dougherty stress that anyone who has any interest in hockey should go give it a try.
“If there are hockey players on campus, come play hockey,” Printup said. “It’s fun, and the more players we have makes it even more fun. “
All Viking home games take place at the Winterhawks Skating Center in Beaverton. General admission is $5 and PSU students and children get in for $2.
The Vikings will take on Western Washington next Friday at home. The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.