Rick Nash isn’t walking through that door.
In fact, not much ice hockey experience is.
D-league intramural ice hockey at Ohio State is all about fun, whether you have played the game or not. It is meant for those who are enthusiastic about the game, but may not be incredibly experienced. Many of the players developed an interest in the game while playing sports off the ice.
Like all levels of intramural hockey at Ohio State, D-league is offered during Winter and Spring Quarter. This quarter, D-league hockey ran at capacity with 378 players. In addition to signing up as individuals, players can sign up as groups to create their own teams.
“I wanted to play because my friends were playing,” said Brittney Caven, a junior in human development and family science and a forward on the Barons.
Each quarter, the league crowns a champion through a playoff system. To qualify for the playoffs a team needs to win or tie at least one of its four regular season games. This quarter, every team qualified except for the Wanderers, who lost their four games by a combined score of 32-7.
The winning team at the end of the quarter is rewarded with the coveted “Ice Hockey Champions” T-shirt. To Ricky Vesel, a senior in aerospace engineering and a defenseman on the Racers, owning this T-shirt would mean a great deal.
“It would mean I have staying power as a force in ice hockey,” Vesel said.
Joe Jarvis, a junior in securities and intelligence, signed up to play goalie for the Barons despite never having played the position.
“The first game I got a little nervous, but I got used to it,” Jarvis said. “It’s a good time. Not too many people can skate well so it’s not too nerve-racking.”
The players in the league may not have much experience on the ice, but many have hockey idols.
“I’ll go with the only famous hockey player I know,” Vesel said. “And that’s Wayne Gretzky.”
Before taking the ice for a second round match-up, Jarvis said he was confident his team would make a playoff run.
“I think we’ve got it in the bag,” Jarvis said. “I’m actually going to guarantee a win right now.”
The championship game for Winter Quarter will be played tonight at 9 p.m. at the OSU Ice Rink.
Mark Stetson can be reached at email@example.com.