It looks like Ramapo will have an ice hockey team next year for the first time since 1984. The team is set to begin competition in the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference for the 2015-2016 season and is just waiting for club approval from the Center for Student Involvement and the Student Government Association.
Freshman Matt Rose of Kinnelon, New Jersey will serve as the athletic club’s president and has taken it upon himself to bring ice hockey back to Ramapo.
“Ramapo had pretty much everything I was looking for except for ice hockey,” the first year student said. “So I figured it would be a great thing to do. I could have everything I wanted here and I’m sure there are other kids here who would love to keep playing.”
Over the past months, Rose has been undergoing various processes to get the team set for competition next year. He already has approval from Ramapo College’s athletic department and from the MCHC to have Ramapo join the league.
He also had to get permission from Art Chill, the former goalie and coach from the original Ramapo ice hockey team. He said the club is just waiting for Mercer’s approval and is in the process of recruiting players.
Rose said that the club has 23 names signed up for the club, most of whom have played before and appear to be committed to the team. Ideally, Rose would like to have a 25 player roster, and dress 18 skaters and two goalies per game. Rose is also still looking for someone to coach the team.
Ramapo College first had an ice hockey team in 1972. The team won two Bi State Intercollegiate Hockey League championships in 1975 and 1976, but lost funding after the 1981 season. The team returned in 1983 and 1984 before officially disbanding.
Between ice time and equipment costs, ice hockey can be an expensive sport to play, but Rose said that funding will not be a problem for the new team. Aside from fundraising opportunities, like golf outings and car washes, the team has come into a frozen account reserved for a Ramapo ice hockey team made up of donations from the original team’s alumni.
“When all of the alumni graduated, they all donated to this fund to hopefully get a team started up again,” Rose said. “So we do have a little seed in the bank right now, but a majority of the funding is going to come from fundraisers that the players do.”
The team that won back-to-back championships in the 70s brought a hockey culture to Ramapo, a new liberal arts college without established athletic programs. Rose said that he wants to bring a hockey culture back to Ramapo with the 2015 team.
“Bergen County is a big hockey county, and so is Morris County. Ramsey is always really good. Kinnelon, Morristown, Mendham, Morris Knolls, all those teams are all super competitive and they’re all in this area of Ramapo,” Rose said. “Everybody who plays hockey knows about Ramapo, and once the word gets out, people will start coming here to play.”