By Drew Mola / Fordham Hockey Online
Aug 01, 2005 -- The 2004-2005 season sees the Fordham University ice hockey program now entering its 35th campaign, one of the longest of any the clubs at school. The team was actually created in the 1967-68 season playing and winning one game versus cross town rival Manhattan College. The "Maroon Six" as they were known then, began playing a full slate of games during the 1970-71 season. The team joined the MIHL (Metropolitan Intercollegiate Hockey League), in the fall of 1970 and began playing such teams as Columbia, Fairfield and St. Johns. The team was originally created and funded by Fordham University athletics to become a varsity program. However the team was relegated to its current club status in 1975 when the school chose to elevate its club football team back to varsity instead. Since then the team has held the longest tenure in its current league the MCHC (Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference) after the MIHL changed it name during the 1974-75 season.
The team is coached on the ice Jim Soropoulos FC '87, now in his 12th year (the longest tenure of any Fordham hockey coach). Assisting Jim this season are Mike Zeppieri FC '96 (3rd year). Behind the scenes is team general manager Andrew Mola, CBA '86 (21st year) who handles the day-to-day team operations.
In what was thought to be a season of transition, the program turned a corner last season. With a consistent offense, a solid core of defensemen and the key piece of the puzzle, the addition of goalie Joe Wichowski who, by seasons end, broke Freshman records in games, minutes played, goals against and save percentage. The Rams played the opponents tough throughout the entire season with a stretch of 3 out of 4 games in mid-November ending in overtime shootouts. The team began to falter in February but they rebounded from a regular season ending loss to Hofstra 5-4 with an impressive 11-1 blowout of the same Hofstra team 4 days later in the opening round of the playoffs. The teams quest for there first MCHC title once again fell short as they battled eventual champions Wagner College to a 4-3 loss in the leagues semi-finals with Wichowski making an incredible 56 saves. For all his hard work ,Wichowski was honored at the end of the year with the league’s “goalie of the year” award.
The team finished their 2003-04 campaign with a solid fourth place finish with a 9-5-0-2 (13-9-0-2 overall) and qualified for the post-season playoffs for the 9th time in the last 10 years. It marked the teams first winning season since the 1998-99 campaign and the 24 games played were the most in 14 years. Optimism is high for the squad this year with the graduation of only 5 players, the return of 17 players, and the addition of 7 incoming freshman.
The team begins its practices mid- September skating twice a week until the 16 game league schedule kicks off mid-October. Once the league games start, the practices are scaled back to once a week. No games are played during Thanksgiving break, finals week in December or Christmas break. The season culminates with playoffs the final weekend of February. This year the team has scheduled a number of other non-league scrimmages, which by season's end will bring the total number of games the most the team has played in almost 15 years. The season is concluded with the annual alumni game, which was reinstated two years ago year after a 5 years absence.
For more information on the team please contact general manager Andrew Mola at 212-538-8074 (work).