DII hockey aims to build structure in new season

Defender Brennan Martin battles an opponent from the University of Michigan for the puck, Dec. 10, 2016 at the Isabella County Events Arena.

The time has come for Central Michigan Division II hockey players to sharpen their skates and practice their shots. 

CMU’s first regular season game is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6 against Lawrence Tech. The Chippewas will compete at home for the first time against Lawrence Tech at noon on Sunday, Oct. 8 in the Isabella County Ice Arena.

Last season, CMU had a 7-5 overall. The previous year, CMU did not participate to rebuild the team. 

“One of major goals for this season is to create a structure off the ice,” assistant coach Brittany Knopp said. “Winning is very important but we would also like to grow as players and coaches throughout this season.” 

CMU head coach Brian Knopp has coached at CMU for three seasons. His daughter, Brittany, has been with the team for two seasons. Brittany is also the head coach for the women’s club hockey team. 

CMU enters the season without defenseman Jeff Moran and forward Austin Cole, who led the team with 15 goals. Moran held a presence on the defensive side and ended the season with nine points, Knopp said.

Captain Kyle Chapman and assistant captains Justin McCommas and Shayn Lindquist lead the team into the 2017 season. Chapman hopes to lead his team in assists for the second straight season. 

“As the captain, I want to lead the team at a high completion level,” Chapman said. “We have a tougher schedule than last year and the goal is to compete hard all season.” 

CMU travels to East Lansing to play the Michigan State Spartans on Dec. 8. The Chippewas get a chance to face the Spartans in Mount Pleasant on Dec. 9. 

“The opponent I am most looking forward to is Michigan State,” junior defenseman Steven Jacques said. “They are a big-time team and going to their arena and playing at the (Munn Arena) is going to be a fun experience and good competition.” 


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