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  After only eight years, KSU’s ice hockey club is a force to be reckoned with   By…

Georgia (Oct 28, 2009)

 

After only eight years, KSU’s ice hockey club is a force to be reckoned with
 
By Shawn Jenkins
 
What began in 2001 with 14 players, a couple of volunteer coaches and a down payment on some ice time has turned into one of the country’s hottest up-and-coming collegiate club hockey programs.
 
            The Kennesaw State University hockey team is packing in fans at their home venue in Kennesaw’s Town Center IceForum, and knocking off traditionally hockey-rich schools in the process.
 
            “We drew 1,100 fans to last season’s opener against the University of Georgia,” said Bill Morrison, assistant coach for the club. “It’s standing room only in here and we had them packed in six deep all around the rink.”
 
            A mere five years after its inception, KSU won the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Nationals — the sport’s championship — for Division III. After being upgraded to the more competitive Division II, they reached the ACHA Nationals twice in three years, posting regional tournament wins this past season over highly ranked powerhouses No. 3 Miami of Ohio and No. 4 University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
 
            “People are shocked that a school in Georgia can compete at this level,” said head coach Ken Honeyman, a 31-year veteran of the sport. “When we go to tournaments in New York, St. Louis, Chicago and they see us play, they start asking, ‘Where is KSU?’”
 
            That same question is being asked north of the border by potential Canadian recruits who are courted by current and former players and by team volunteers who specialize in Canadian player development. The team presently boasts 25 percent of the Canadian students who are registered at KSU, and there are at least three more in the pipeline for this season.
 
            Two recent finds from the Great White North have helped to cement the KSU hockey reputation with notable post-season honors.
 
            In June, team captain Jerry Holden, a senior from Stoney Creek, Ontario, was hand-picked from among 3,500 potential players to join an ACHA Division II international traveling select team that will tour Europe this winter to compete against semi-pro squads in five different nations. KSU hockey alumnus Curtis Morrison, a product of Winnipeg, Manitoba, earned this same   distinction two years previously, and both were also selected to ACHA All-Star teams. 

 


 

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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