Those not interested in a five-month season or brutal practices six days a week can turn to club hockey to get their ice fix. Braeden Yeo ’19 is an English major from Minnesota and captain of the women’s club hockey team. She plays defense.
“My dad played hockey his entire life, so our whole family was brought up playing hockey,” she said. “I started skating when I was three and played on my first team when I was six.”
Joey Larabee ’20 shares the passion. “I grew up in Minnesota, so I’ve been playing since I was three,” Larabee said. “I emailed the captains at Colorado College and got signed right up at the activities fair.”
He is one of the two goalies for the team. Otis Hatfield ’19 is the other goalie for the men’s team and, according to Larabee, “He’s new to being a goalie but he’s really progressing. It’s great to watch him get better every practice.”
Yeo often plays for the men’s team too and says that they are very welcoming and inclusive. During her first year, she was asked to join in on some of the men’s practices and games because they were low on numbers. According to Larabee, there aren’t really gender barriers present in hockey. “Some of the girls will play with us sometimes,” he said. “Victoria [Lusanello ’21] can really play and Braeden is often one of the best defenders on the ice for either the men’s or women’s team.”
Hockey has been a historically inclusive sport at all levels, and Larabee remembers his teams being coed all the way up through Peewees.
Both teams have 12 games this season, which, for the men, is a serious increase from last year. In previous years, the men’s team struggled with numbers but this year the team is looking strong. They are doing some heavy traveling this year in hopes of having more home games next year. “I’m excited we have more games this year,” Larabee said. “We have some new guys on the team that can really play and I’m excited to see what they can do on the ice.” The women’s team had seven first-years join the team this year. “Most of them are playing for their first time,” Yeo said. “We always love new players and everyone seems like they’re having a good time which is important. Anyone can play if they want to. We love having new people. We welcome all levels. We have a lot of girls that have played their whole lives and we have quite a few girls that just started playing at Colorado College. We want everyone to get involved.”
The men’s team (0—2) has two home games this weekend and the women’s team has a home game on Dec. 9. After going undefeated last season, the women moved up a division, but are 0—2 in the season. Good luck to the Tigers in the rest of their seasons!