When the Snipers compete every week, the players make sure they are getting together with their teammates off the rink, too.
“When you have a lot of team chemistry off the ice, you play a lot better hockey,” Snipers team member Alex Mosoff said. “Knowing the guys off the ice and just talking to them every once in a while definitely helps you play better.”
The Snipers players have built good rapport with one another over the years playing in the Rolling Meadows Adult Hockey League just outside of Chicago. The team has been around for eight years with Mosoff being the longest-tenured player with seven years’ experience.
It’s important for Mosoff to keep coming back to the Snipers every season.
“That’s my team; [those are] my guys,” Mosoff said. “You can’t just leave them.”
Mosoff has played with a number of teammates for just two years, but not much longer than that.
“We’re always getting new guys, because we’re always trying to put the best team together,” Mosoff said. “So, if there’s a really good guy and he doesn’t have a place to go, ‘Hey, we’ve got some room for you. Come on over. We’ve got a spot for you.’”
Mike Ericksen was brought on board three years ago to try and help the team win. However, wins haven’t come easily for the Snipers over the years.
“We don’t win a lot of games,” joked Mosoff, who is 26 years old. “We’re trying to win more games by having this consistent group, but we don’t win a lot of games. It’s just about playing hockey. Having fun playing the sport.”
“It’s a beer league and just have a good time and play some hockey,” Ericksen said.
The Snipers play in an H Division in the Rolling Meadows Adult Hockey League. There is also a Snipers 2 squad in the league that won the H4A Division this past March.
The team has an average age in the 30s with players ranging from early 20s into the 50s. There is also a wide range of talent on the team.
“We have a mixture of guys with beginner and intermediate and some guys played a while and some guys are new,” said Ericksen, 31.
The Snipers only travel once per year to play in a tournament. The last two years, they’ve picked the Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
“We get to know each other pretty well, especially on weekends like this when you come up and get to know some of the guys better more than just hanging out after a game or something,” Ericksen said.
The Snipers competed in the Intermediate 21+ Division in 2017 and went 0-3, getting outscored 60-19. But just like in league play in Illinois, competing in the pond hockey championships isn’t about winning.
“It’s fun when we actually get the guys to come up here and do this,” Ericksen said. “I think once people come up here for the first time they really like it and keep wanting to come back every year. I try to encourage them to come out next year with us.”
Said Mosoff: “This is the most fun thing I do all year.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc
Tag(s): Adult Hockey