The Boise State men’s club hockey team lost their season last year due to COVID. They were unable to hold practices or compete in games.
According to head coach Lloyd Ayers, COVID had a big impact on the program, but it was also a positive, as they were able to talk to recruits before other programs did.
According to junior right wing and kinesiology major Matthew Johnson, the team is very young this season. Johnson said they had eight to nine seniors who graduated last year, which left only five returning players.
Coach Ayers said this team is becoming a tight-knit group, but it’s taking time because they are just getting to know each other. This is a rebuilding season, but they are not a team that gives up.
Johnson got into hockey when he was 11 years old. In this neighborhood in Las Vegas, Nevada, he saw one of his neighbors playing street hockey. This sparked his interest, and he decided to buy hockey roller blades.
Freshman environmental studies major Camden Gallagher started playing hockey when he was only 2 years old.
Gallagher’s dad was a collegiate hockey player and Gallagher fell in love with the sport. He said that through various life changes, the sport has always been something he could fall back on.
“I’ve met some amazing people, but I also had to move away when I was 15 years old,” Gallagher said. “It forced me to mature and grow up a lot quicker. The sport has made me into a pretty good human being; it’s pretty astonishing what the sport can do to you.”
According to Ayers, Gallagher will have a huge impact this season from his experience and energy that he brings to the table.
“Camden Gallagher who is played at a high junior level — just a big kid, a fluid skater — has a strong head for the game and he’s just solid on defense,” Ayers said. “He could be a two-way player if he wanted to play forward for us.”
Johnson said that this team is a team that will never give up, and will put a 110% effort into each game.
“Even if we are losing, whatever amount we are fighting until the end, if there is a couple seconds left and there is a puck in the corner we are gonna go, we don’t stop, that’s my favorite part of this team for sure,” Johnson said.
Their big home game this season is on Nov. 6 at Idaho Central Arena. They will be taking on BYU for their “meals on wheels” game. The game will be free admission for students.