ADRIAN, Mich.--The NCAA nationally-ranked Adrian College men's and women's hockey teams were featured on WTOL Channel 11 News (CBS-affiliate of Toledo, Ohio) during the newscast on Thursday, previewing the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Harris and Slaats Cup Championships this weekend while examining the tremendous success of both programs.
Sports reporter Danielle Dwyer produced the piece. (Courtesy of WTOL.com)
Nine years ago Adam Krug was part of the inaugural men’s hockey team at Adrian College.
This year he's in his second season at the helm of the Bulldogs, working to establish success and tradition.
"Nine years ago; no banners hanging from the rafters, not much tradition in the dressing room. You know we got to start that tradition. And it's carried over through now. And it's good to see the guys buying into that and ultimately looking to put more banners up in the rafters," he said.
Earlier this season, the team achieved a No. 1 national ranking for Division III – the first time since the 2013-14 season. And they haven’t really dropped in the polls since.
The Bulldogs are sitting at No. 2 in the nation and are the No. 1 seed heading into this weekend’s conference tournament; a team that became like family to achieve success.
"We call it the brotherhood and it's definitely that for sure, everyone has each other's back, and it's very special," said Connor Armour, a freshman who leads the country in rookie points with 37 and counting.
It's also a team that has plans of reaching a national championship.
"The big thing this week and going on is our effort for sure. We still have to do all the hard work and finish out the season," said senior captain Adam Davies.
But it’s not just the men’s team that’s achieving success, the women’s team is also getting the job done on the ice, as they too are ranked second overall in the nation and have the No. 1 seed heading into this weekend’s conference tournament.
"Everything's come together at the right time, but they're all one-gamers here, so we just got to see it through, and just keep doing what we've been doing," said Chad Davis, head coach.
It’s been years of hard work for this upperclassmen-driven team.
"We got to win, just another game, you know, it's going to be great to win it. Got to come out with the mentality that we're here to work, and it should work out for us," said Logan Taylor, senior, who also holds the school record for most assists at 31.
Like the men's team, the women say they too feel like they've become more like family than teammates.
"I see as the years go on and we grow together as a family, we know what each other's going to do, and I think that's why we're so successful," said Michelle Jones, senior.
The focus from here on out is just one game at a time.
Coach Davis said they'll approach the rest of the season by, "Not thinking about how much is on the line, just more like it's another game, play hard, pressure the puck, and just go shift-by-shift not think about the end result."