Move over Mighty Ducks! Tartans are here

Remember The Mighty Ducks, that heartfelt story about a hotshot lawyer forced to coach the worst peewee hockey team in the league for community service, which was then winds up winning the championship?

Carnegie Mellon has its own version of a group that sticks together through thick and thin, in which loyalty triumphs over all obstacles. Ice hockey was the first intercollegiate sport at Carnegie Mellon, with the first game played against Yale University in 1908. The team received its charter from the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Hockey Association in 1971, and has since been a team built on character, perseverance, and passion.

Dedication certainly does not fall short, as sophomore Ryan Ralston said, “From first-year skaters to 15-plus-year veterans, every player has made the commitment to improve the team in any way they can. Strong leaders stepped up to teach rookies what is necessary to win, such as the exemplary effort made by captain [and senior] Chris Faught. I can recall a particular time when he was speaking to a less experienced teammate who was worried that he had not had enough training. Chris responded by saying, ‘Training is nothing. The will is everything. The will to act.’ The team followed suit and clinched a victory in that game.”

Along with the desire to achieve, the team has quite a sense of humor. When asked about victory, sophomore Jimmy Harvey responded, “We won four games because I was flexing in the penalty box and scaring the other team.”

Of course, strategy in hockey is straightforward. The team often jokes about how crazy one needs to be in order to play ice hockey with flying pucks, missing teeth, and ice fights. The sport is typically associated with Canadians and mullets, so sophomore Zach Pierce suggested the Tartans recruit more of the stereotypical hockey players to enhance the team’s spirit and potentially bring a new dimension to the Carnegie Mellon squad.

Despite all the joking around, the Ice Tartans thrive on playing well. They were only one point away from the playoffs this season, and it is only going to get better with the rising stars on the team. So come out next season to cheer on the new and improved version of Coach Bombay’s revered squad, and experience the sport that has nonstop spontaneous, unpredictable action. As first-year Ephraim Hathaway remarked, “Remember what CIT stands for — no, not Carnegie Tech — but Carnegie Mellon Ice Tartans.”