Fordham Hockey 2019-2020
The 2019-2020 season sees the Fordham University ice hockey program now entering its 50th campaign, one of the longest of any the clubs at school. The team was actually created in the 1967-68 season playing and winning one game versus cross-town rival Manhattan College. The “Maroon Six” as they were known then, began playing a full slate of games during the 1970-71 seasons. The team joined the MIHL (Metropolitan Intercollegiate Hockey League), in the fall of 1970 and began playing such teams as Columbia, Fairfield and St. Johns. The team was originally created and funded by Fordham University athletics to become a varsity program. However the team was relegated to its current club status in 1975 when the school chose to elevate its club football team back to varsity instead. Since then the team has held the longest tenure in its current league the MCHC (Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference) after the MIHL changed it name during the 1974-75 season.
The team is coached by Rich Guberti, who begins his 12th year with the team (2 years assistant coach – 10 years head coach). The team has gone 199-67-7-10 during this tenure. They have finished the regular season in first place 7 times, have gone to the league finals 7 times, and have won four championships. In his nine years as the teams Head Coach, Guberti historically ranks 1st in overall wins (171) and winning percentage (.760). A USA Hockey Certified Level 4 Coach, he runs successful year round Pro Player Clinics and Summer Camps. His Westchester Select tournament teams play in AAA tournaments during the summer on the East Coast. He has also run successful youth hockey and junior programs. Those teams have gone on to compete for State and National titles as well as International Silver Sticks both here and in Canada.
Behind the scenes is Director of Hockey Operations, Andrew Mola CBA ’86 (36th year) who handles the day-to-day team operations which can range from organizing transportation, finances, alumni relations, statistical analysis, scheduling, recruiting, and running game day operations. Mola also is in his 11th year serving as the President of the MCHC and has held prior MCHC Executive Board positions such as Director of Eligibility and Director of Structures.Below are the team accomplishments for the 2018-19 season:
- Won their 5th Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference championship in the last 14 years, first time ever to win back to back championships.
- Played in the league championship game five of the last six years
- Completed their 16th consecutive winning season, and 19th consecutive post season appearance
- Went undefeated in league play for the first time in team history (14-0) and have finished in first place seven times in the last 10 years
- 27-5-2 overall record, most wins in a single season in team history
- 34 games played – most in team history, most played by any team in the ACHA Atlantic Region.
- Finished with a # 5 ranking in the Atlantic region by the American Collegiate Hockey Association, the governing body of club hockey in America – highest team ranking ever
- Qualified for ACHA regional tournament for the 2nd consecutive year – defeating Springfield College 6-3 and George Mason 7-1
- Qualified for ACHA National tournament play in Frisco, Texas -winning 2 of 3 games in pool play by defeating # 1 seed Florida Gulf Coast 3-2 ,# 3 seed Nebraska 8-4, and losing to # 2 seed Michigan 2-1.
- Had 4 players named to ACHA All Region team – Atlantic Region 1st line – Joe Sponenberg (Goalie) – 2nd line Nick Gadowski (forward) & Connor Burke (defense) – 3rd line Zach Brenner (forward)
- Head Coach Rich Guberti was named Coach of the Year for the Atlantic Region and Goalie Joe Sponenburg
- Goalie Joe Sponenburg was named Atlantic Region MVP as well also named First team All Star for all of ACHA D3
- Team overall GPA 3.26
For the upcoming 2019-20 Fordham is now a member of the Empire Collegiate Hockey Conference, joining the most elite college club hockey league in the Atlantic region. Also beginning this season, the Rams have become members of the Collegiate Hockey Federation (CHF) whose membership will represent the highest level of competition on a national level.
The team begins its practices early September skating twice a week with Pennsylvania tournament appearances in the Ice Works Preseason Showcase in Aston mid-September and The Empire Classic in Warminster the week prior to Thanksgiving in November. No games are played during Thanksgiving break, finals week in December or Christmas break. The season culminates with league playoffs held the weekend following President’s Day Weekend in February, and the CHF national tournament held in Nashville Tennessee beginning March 10.
(Thanks to Fordham Hockey for this article)