As summer ends with the approach of autumn weather, so does the excitement of a new season of ice hockey at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Fresh from their impressive 2022-2023 season, the Crimson Hawks have their skates laced, sticks taped, and sights set on more victories. Training camp, that much-anticipated rite of passage for every player eager to showcase their passion and commitment, kicks off this week.
The previous season saw the IUP team take to the ice with fervor and determination. Under the guidance of Head Coach Joe Honzo and Assistant Coach Dom Glavach, the Crimson Hawks soared to a remarkable 21-6-0 regular-season record. Their prowess on the ice was evident to all, culminating in a top-seed entry into the CHMA playoffs. Demonstrating skill, teamwork, and an indomitable spirit, the team clinched victories against formidable opponents, Duquesne University and Robert Morris University, to proudly wear the title of CHMA playoff champions.
This feat was not the end of their journey. The team’s incredible performance in the season secured them the #18 seed in the ACHA national tournament. Although their national championship goals were thwarted by Illinois State University in the first game, the impact of their journey was undeniable. Such achievements are not easily forgotten, especially with the graduation of six key players from that squad.
Today, S&T Bank Arena echoes with the sounds of renewed ambitions and new faces. Players from all over the US have converged for training camp, bringing with them a blend of experience and youthful enthusiasm. Both returning players and the incoming freshman class of 2023-2024 hold the promise of another exhilarating season.
The coaching staff’s excitement is palpable. “Our returning players bring with them the experience of last season’s highs and lessons from its setbacks,” commented Coach Honzo. “Combined with the energy and talent of our incoming freshmen, we’re looking at a potent mix on the ice.”
The overarching sentiment is one of anticipation. The Crimson Hawks are not merely content with their past laurels. They aim to defend their CHMA league championship title and have their eyes set on the ACHA National Championship.
As training camp gets underway, one can’t help but feel that the upcoming season holds great promise. IUP’s Crimson Hawks are more than just a team; they are a testament to what passion, hard work, and unity can achieve on the ice. The puck drops soon, training camp kicks off August 19 through August 25.
Go Crimson Hawks!