TCU club hockey team struggles to retain full roster

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    After injuries plagued the end of the 2012 season, TCU club hockey president Ryan Acuff said he hopes the team will start the hockey season next semester with 20 players on the official roster. 

    When the season began Sept. 14 against Southern Methodist University, Acuff said, there were around 20 healthy players available for head coach Mike Caressimo. According to Caressimo, the final four games of the season featured less than ten Horned Frogs in uniform. 

    Due to the lack of numbers, Caressimo and Acuff were forced to reschedule two home games and cancelled games in San Marcos on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 against Texas State University.

    Team captain and defenseman Michael Authier said players suffered from back injuries, goalie Blake Sadau went out halfway through the season with a shoulder sprain and forward Arman Azimi missed games with a concussion. As the injuries increased, so did ice time for the remaining players.

    "I probably played at least 40 out of 60 minutes," Authier said of a game against Dallas Baptist University. "It is tough skating longer shifts because you have to pace yourself over several minutes of fast-paced action as opposed to going all out for one minute than getting a change."

    According to Authier, TCU hockey had no net minders available against DBU and was forced to play forward Mick Syrquin in goal.

    Acuff and Authier both acknowledged that the end of TCU's inaugural Big 12 football season along with the conclusion of fraternity initiations should result in rising interest levels. 

    Even the Texas Brahmas, a professional hockey team located in North Richland Hills that shares the NYTEX Sports Centre as home ice with the Horned Frogs, are aiding TCU hockey in their attempts to establish a successful program. 

    "They are helping us by allowing us to fundraise at Brahmas games," Caressimo said. "They are doing a great job in bringing exposure to the TCU program and we very much appreciate that."

    TCU hockey's first season has caught the eye of two TCU students who used to regularly play. Junior Zack Cartmel and senior Brett Hummel are optimistic on reviving their competitive hockey careers in the upcoming semester.

    "I've played a lot of different sports but nothing can compare to the feeling I get when I am out on the ice," Hummel said. "Once you start playing hockey, no sport compares to the fast past action that hockey creates. There is no replicating it."

    Acuff said it costs $800 per semester for players to participate in the newly formed association. TCU hockey finished the 2012 calendar year at 2-9 and will resume play Jan. 18 and Jan. 19 in College Station against Texas A&M. 

    For more information on the TCU ice hockey club, visit facebook.com/TcuIceHockey, follow them on twitter @tcuhockey or visit the official TCU hockey website at tcuicehockey.com.