Fordham Looking Forward to Their 49th Season
By Drew Mola / Fordham Hockey Online
August 2018 -- The 2018-2019 season sees the Fordham University ice hockey program now entering its 49th 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 seasons. 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 by Rich Guberti, who begins his 11th year with the team (2 years assistant coach - 9 years head coach). The team has gone 172-62-5-10 during this tenure. They have finished the regular season in first place 6 times. The team has also gone to the league finals 7 times, winning four championships. In his eight years as the teams Head Coach, Guberti historically ranks 1st in overall wins (144) and winning percentage (.746). A USA Hockey Certified Level 4 Coach, he runs successful year round Pro Player Clinics and Summer Camps. His Westchester Select tournament teams play in AAA tournaments during the summer on the East Coast. He has also run successful youth hockey and junior programs. Those teams have gone on to compete for State and National titles as well as International Silver Sticks both here and in Canada.
Behind the scenes is Director of Hockey Operations, Andrew Mola CBA '86 (35th year) who handles the day-to-day team operations which can range from organizing transportation, finances, alumni relations, statistical analysis, scheduling, recruiting, and running game day operations. Mola also is in his 10th year serving as the President of the MCHC and has held prior MCHC Executive Board positions such as Director of Eligibility and Director of Structures.
The 2017-18 season was another successful campaign for the program. With the addition of 11 new players and a solid core of returning players from the prior season, the Rams proved to be the team to beat throughout the year. In addition to their MCHC schedule, the team played in twelve non-league games against outside competition which included several contests coming against the American College Hockey Association's Atlantic Divisions nationally ranking top 10 teams.
In league play, the team finished in first place with 15-0-0-1 in the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference. In the post season, the team captured their fourth MCHC championship with a 3-0 semi-final win over Hofstra and a 4-1 championship game over defending champion Ramapo.
The team continued playing on after their league season was over by qualifying by their first ever ACHC Regional tournament after achieving a rank of #6 in the Atlantic region, a feat that no Fordham team had ever accomplished. After defeating California University of Pennsylvania by 4-1 verdict, the Rams fell a goal short of qualifying for the National tournament losing to George Mason by a 3-2 score.
The team finished the season with an overall record of 25-4-0-1. The 30 games played marked the most ever played in a season by the team with the 25 wins also a single season record. The team reached the post season league tournament for the 18th consecutive year and posted their 15th consecutive winning season history. The team continues to cement its status as one of the elite programs in the region.
Academically, the team maintained a solid 3.36 overall g.p.a. and with 8 players awarded with ACHA All Academic Honors. Additionally, freshman goalie Joe Sponenberg was recognized by the ACHA with third team honors for the Atlantic region.
The team begins its practices early September skating twice a week with Pennsylvania tournament appearances in the Ice Works Preseason Showcase in Aston mid-September and The Empire Classic in Warwick the week prior to Thanksgiving in November. No games are played during Thanksgiving break, finals week in December or Christmas break. The season culminates with league playoffs held the weekend following Presidents Weekend in February. The season is concluded with the annual alumni game, which was reinstated fourteen years ago after a 5-year absence.
For more information on the team please contact Andrew Mola at 917-743-4429.