Students want more ice

By By Rob Tokanel, News Staff

Lack of ice time for intramural hockey and broomball teams this semester has a lot of students frustrated with the university, and some’ claim the drop in ice time is due to the school selling time in the rink to external teams.
Gabriel Wolf, a sophomore economics major who has managed an intramural hockey team for three semesters, said he knows people that don’t go to Northeastern who have played in Matthews.
‘I’ve seen not only other schools but I have friends who said when they were in high school two years or a year ago they played games at Matthews, and if they’re giving that ice up that’s even more outrageous than selling it,’ he said.
However, Director of Campus Recreation Gene Grzywna, who runs the intramural sports program, said that all of the intramural leagues have a higher demand than the university is able to meet, and the addition of the men’s and women’s club hockey teams in the last few years has made the situation even more difficult for hockey and broomball.
‘We get the dregs, but it happens to be all that’s left. It’s not a question of anybody forcing us to do anything, it’s just what’s available,’ he said.
The varsity men and women’s hockey teams, two club teams, Wentworth varsity hockey and the men’s basketball program currently share the ice. Grzywna said Wentworth is allowed access to Matthews Arena because of an agreement that allows the Northeastern field hockey team to use Wentworth’s soccer field.
The Athletics Department could not be reached for comment on the scheduling issues facing intramural teams.
Junior civil engineering major Caroline Fischer said she attended a manager’s meeting for intramural hockey and broomball Jan. 15 where she learned that significantly less teams would be allowed to play than there had been in the past.
‘I was actually shocked when I showed up and learned that there were only six ice hockey teams accepted into the league,’ she said. ‘In past years I remember there were times when there were so many that they had two divisions and not just one.’
Fischer said more than 10 hockey teams and 40 broomball teams were put on waiting lists, which left more than 500 students out of the activities they wanted to participate in.
Wolf said he was disappointed when he found out his team was not going to be allowed to play this semester. He intends to send a petition to the Athletics Department requesting more ice time.
‘I’m in the process of drafting a letter that I’m going to get signed and submit for all the guys and girls who don’t have the time to play because there is a lack of ice time,’ he said. ‘We want to play but there isn’t enough time allocated to us and we feel the situation is unfair.’
Grzywna said he could understand why students are upset, but there is little that can be done to remedy the situation with the current resources and schedule provided to the recreation department.
‘We’re going as late as 1 a.m., so we’re already pushing the envelope, because a lot of people that work to make it happen have class and other things to worry about,’ he said. ‘It’s just a matter of too much demand and not enough supply.’
Some students have expressed concern about whether or not Northeastern is selling ice time to local hockey teams who may not have their own place to play. Fischer said she has seen teams playing on the ice that are not affiliated with the school, and she thinks this is a disservice to students who want to play.
Grzywna said Northeastern does not rent ice time to any other groups.
‘[Matthews] has become so used by different parts of the Northeastern campus that they don’t have the ability to rent to outside groups,’ he said.
Grzywna said he has tried to offer solutions in the past, including the suggestion of a practice rink in part of the Camden parking lot where students could play intramurals and teams could practice when Matthews is unavailable.
‘ ‘A bare bones hockey rink with no stands could fit in that space, but I’ve told other people that in the past and its been shut down,’ he said. ‘I don’t think we’d have trouble filling it and if we did have excess time the university could sell that time.’

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