The Oakland Tech Hockey team finished up their 2021-2022 season this March without a single win. Nonetheless, from tryouts last year to their final playoff game a couple of weeks ago, the team has come a long way.
Many winter sports, including ice hockey, were impacted by the pandemic. Training, games, and tryouts were put on hold for a year, ultimately affecting the structure of many teams. There was no official 2020-2021 hockey season, so many new and returning players had to come together to figure things out. One misfortune this season was the loss of the only trained goalie on the team. Overcoming the goalie’s leave halfway through the season was not easy for the team.
Tech’s first game was on October 16 and ended 1-17. Tech’s #9, Andrew Feldman, scored one goal in the second period. However, as the season progressed, the team went from losing by a large difference to the majority of their games being lost by a couple of points. Their first and only game in the final playoffs was against the Tri-Valley Blue Devils on February 26. The game ended in a 1-5 loss for Tech.
Sophomore Rhiannon Zara joined the ice hockey team this year, never having played hockey before. In her experience, “Hockey was a really useful way to let out some steam. The team is a really tight-knit group of people that have supported me.” Many players attribute the determination of the team to the close bonds that they have been able to form with each other through the sport. In addition, the coaches hold the position that no player should be cut from the team’s roster. The team consists of both a practice team and a fifteen-player roster. Both are co-ed, and many players start off with little to no skating experience. Sophomore Frankie Croteau says, “Before this year, I’d never held a hockey stick in my life!”
The ice hockey team is the only Tech-funded sport that plays in a club team league, competing against club teams in the JVC division in a league run by the San Jose Sharks High School Hockey League. Two years in a row, in the 2018-2019 and the 2019-2020 season, Bulldogs won the Sharks High School Hockey JVC league championships. As the team continues to improve, they hope to reclaim the championship title in future seasons.
Away games are often held in San Jose or Fremont, while home games and practices are held in Downtown Oakland at the Oakland Ice Center. Any players interested in ice hockey can sign up at the beginning of the next school year.