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Bethany’s hockey son Blake taps gloves – or tries to! – at a UNLV practice session at City National Arena in Las Vegas

 

By Bethany Drysdale

Tuesday morning Blake and I walked in the Summerlin Rink to see our friends practice. Our regular loyal fan crew of Kat, Sandra, Dale and Christina were already there. The first thing we talked about was the huge home wins the UNLV Rebels secured that weekend. Grand Canyon University had an uphill challenge if they were going to beat the Rebels on their home turf. Jesse Gordichuk got the shutout while facing 11 shots on goal. Saturday, Erik Eidissen got his first start of the season, facing 14 shots on goal, allowing only three Antelope goals. Captain Cody Williams extended his scoring streak to nine goals in nine games, and Bryce Woodward has added six goals in his nine starts.

The #13 ranked UNLV Rebels have a much needed bi-week, before flying out to North Dakota to play three games in a row. They face #11 ranked University of Jamestown on November 8 and #18 Minot State University on November 9 and 10. This week, it was business as usual for the men in black. If anyone thinks a bi-week means an easy week, they would be mistaken. The team hits the ice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:45 am – 9 am. Ask any one of the goaltenders and they will tell you the shots come in just as fast and hard as a game day. Waking up before 6 am, players drive the 19 miles from campus to City National Arena, get dressed and hit the ice before 7:45 am. After a hard-hitting, fast skating, training session, the guys put in a full day of classes, like every other fulltime student at UNLV

In addition to paying tuition, players must help fund their playing time on the ice. Rebel hockey was established in 2005, and has grown in the past thirteen years to the successful club which hits the ice today. However, success comes at a cost for these student athletes. There are no scholarships for club sports. The UNLV Men’s Hockey team is a self-funded non-profit hockey organization that operates through player dues and continual fundraising programs. Ticket sales and joint promotional ventures with local organizations also significantly contribute to the operating costs of the organization. Player dues for the 2018-19 season are $3000 per player and cover all the costs for the season, travel, bus, air, team meals on road trips. Various fundraisers are done throughout the year but players still must pay a fee to be on the team. Additionally the University charges out of state residents over $9000 per semester to attend classes. With most of the roster from Canada, Europe and out of state it is truly the love of hockey that keeps these players motivated to take the ice.

There are ways to help this team, during this upcoming season of giving, please consider a donation to the UNLV Rebel Hockey Team. To help fulfil their goal of winning an ACAA D1 Championship and grow towards NCAA status, the team relies upon the continued support of the local community and corporations. Without this support, UNLV Rebel Hockey would not be able to provide each player the opportunity to compete against the tier Universities that operate on similar budgets. 

For more information and other ways to support the program please contact Arturo Castro at 702 768 0280 or acastro@rebelhockey.com or Zee Khan at 661 433 4012 or zkhan@rebel.com  Follow the team on twitter @UNLVRebelHockey for game updates, recruiting info, player profiles and more for all Rebel hockey fans!