Great moments arise from great opportunity and that is exactly what the Boise State Hockey Club team has in front of them.

For the first time in the club’s history, they will be advancing into the regional playoffs against Cal-State Fullerton and, if successful, they will have an opportunity to advance to nationals.

Boise State hockey club (Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter)
The Boise State hockey club in their annual Black and Blue game against the University of Idaho. (Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter)

The hockey club has continuously been getting better and this year seems to have been the year they were able to get over the hump.

“This is our first ever season making it to regionals. That is already an indicator of how we are growing. The team is a lot better,” Boise State Hockey Club president Claude Cardinal said. “Structurally the guys came in and helped us. This is a pretty good idea that we have a good group and are just adding some more pieces to making it better.”

The team attributes the success of this season, compared to others, to several important factors.

Boise State Hockey Club (Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter)
The Boise State hockey club. (Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter)

“This year there has been a lot more mingling and talking off the ice,” Cardinal said. “It has been a lot better than in previous years.”

The chemistry between teammates has been a spark both on and off the ice.

“It has been more casual,” said junior J.T. Smith, vice president of the club. “We have had players in the past where the team looks like an adjunct of cliques and this year everybody hangs out and is friends.”

The Boise State hockey club. (Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter)
The Boise State hockey club. (Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter)

The Treasure Valley native’s responsibilities expand beyond the ice.

“It is a lot of work to be an officer, to make sure and do all the paperwork and kind of be in charge,” Schmidt said. “It makes it all worth it when you are able to play.”

Schmidt’s love for the game won’t end once his playing career is over. The junior added that once he is all done with playing, he would like to get into coaching.

“I would kind of like to go back and coach my old high school and stay here in the valley,” Schmidt said.

Being a first time participant into this tournament makes it a long uphill battle and the team is going to have to overcome some challenges.

“First off they have to get a lot of their school work and things that are in their control, done and complete,” Cardinal said. “No distractions, so they can have no deadlines, no bills, no distractions.”

The team will leave for Flagstaff, Ariz. Feb. 20. The puck drops for the hockey club against Cal-State Fullerton on  Saturday, Feb. 22.

This piece was corrected on Feb. 21, 2014. J.T. Smith had previously been referred to as J.T. Schmidt.