Boxers on Ice

The Pacific Hockey Team runs the table again!

Pacific Universities Hockey team is 9-0 in conference play and having their no shocker of a good season. Their starting lineup consists of all seniors, Annie Berry, Zander Breault, Avari Schumacher, Chandler Flemming, Emily Rutkowski, and Reed Mcfeely, a sneaky striker the team keeps in their back pocket. Head coach of the team Phil Busse shoots straight to the team and lets them know with honesty and compassion. 

   The head coach is in his 40th year at Pacific, making him the longest and oldest coach at Pacific with a winning record. The Boxer Hockey team faces their rivalry at home this Friday, the Willamette Willy Wonkas. 

   The Boxers are a successful hockey team but with limited advertisement and public recognition despite the team’s success. The teams home rink is located at Hagg Lake in a warehouse where the team laces up their skates and hits the ice. The roster is stacked with the likes of Reed “Skates” Mcfeely, Annie “The Punisher” Berry, and many more. Reed is the center in the starting lineup who is electric on the ice the way he glides to goals and setting up his teammates. He is the team’s top scorer this season and continues to find the back of the net with great success. When asked what he thinks defenses should do to try to stop him he simply replied with “get good” and a grin like no other. 

   On his outsides are the wings that include Annie Berry and “Ace” Avari Schumacher. Avari is the team’s leader in assists and knows how to set up her teammates like nobody else in the league. “I tend to keep my wallet open so I can drop a dime on a moment’s notice,” explained Schumacher. Mirroring her position on the Ice is Annie Berry, “The Punisher.” Berry has a mixed bag of scoring and playmaking and sits second in both categories on the team despite leading the league in ejections due to her tendencies to start too many fights in game. Her teammates always bring up the game when she slammed an opposing player through the barricades that surround the rink. 

   Rutkowski and Flemming are the defenders who play behind the furious three up top. A physical bunch who do not shy away from contact when that puck crosses their half of the rink. Emily is known for putting defenders on the ground with her physicality where Flemming is more technical with her stick poking the puck out with ease whenever she feels. When we sat down with the defensive duo, Rutkowski had a dark shiner and Flemming was curling 50’s in preparation for their next opponents. 

   “We work as a double team, Rutkowski and I let people know this is our house,” explained Flemming. “There is not a forward that gets past us. Our keeper knows we will put our bodies on the line before we let a shot off.” 

   The two veterans have had defense on lock all season long. Coach Busse said he has not seen any defender in the NHL that has come close to shutting down forwards like Rutkowski and Flemming. 

  Manning the net is the goalie Zander Breault. Wearing football pads due to budget cuts he makes due with what he has. “I go home every night with a new sleeve of bruises like I was just in a tattoo studio for a few hours. There is nothing better than that,” shares Breault, ‘but when it comes to game time I basically do nothing thanks to my teammates, I literally ate a sandwich my mom made me in the middle of the second period.” 

   This past weekend Boxer Hockey hosted the Linfield Lazy Lions in a classic rivalry matchup. The Boxers hosted at Henry Hagg skating rink in what they assumed was going to be another cruise of a game. Within the first three minutes of the game Schumacher had already set up “Skates” Mcfeely with a beautiful pass that led to the first goal of the game. Familiar territory for this team.

   The final score was 8-0 with ferocious Flemings scoring a hatrick traveling all the way from the backline while Rutkowski held it down while chirping back at the opposing crowd. Berry was tossed from the game after body slamming the opposition through the glass barrier and into the audience. Avari is the team’s leading assist leader and had a 5 in this game, her lowest assist count yet. The boys, Breault and McFeely had their season best chest bump after the final whistle. The crowd went wild when Breault landed his well known triple-axel.


Major: Journalism

Hometown: Mesa, Arizona

Hobbies: soccer, track, being outside, hiking, writing

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