Taking the ice with Club Hockey
With the NCAA Division I varsity hockey team receiving most of the attention on campus, the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II team doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Outside of the intensity of the Eastern College Athletic Conference, ACHA hockey is an entertaining combination of competition and pure love of the sport.
I attended Club Hockey’s November 5 game against the Stevenson Mustangs. Unlike at varsity games, the mostly-empty stands of the Houston Field House provided a more intimate experience: hearing every skate blade carve into the ice and clap of the puck against stick blades draws you closer to the action. Also, the apparent lower amount of stoppages in club hockey allows the game to flow naturally.
The Engineers opened the scoring a little over eight minutes in; Zander Zoia ’26 embarrassed a defenseman before sniping a shot into the top shelf. RPI tacked on two more goals in the first period with a tip from Ryan Caraher ’25 and a tight-angle shot from Toby Webster ’23 to snatch a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period.
Stevenson responded with a goal of their own, but the Engineers fired back at the end of the second period. Nicholas Hefferle ’24 circled from behind the net, through the right faceoff circle, burying a shot into the back of the net to regain RPI’s three-goal lead. Stevenson came back again with a goal halfway through the third, but Stephen Feldman ’26 netted the Engineers’ fifth. Entering the Stevenson zone and attacking the net perpendicularly, Feldman managed to lift the puck into the goaltender and behind the pad to light the lamp. Stevenson scored their third goal with less than 20 seconds remaining in regulation, not enough to surmount the RPI’s total of five.
The Engineers’ next game at the Field House is at 3 pm on December 4 against the Siena Saints. Click here to view their full schedule. Games are never held during the week to avoid academic conflicts, so I highly suggest going to one of their games if you have a free weekend.