The SFU Men’s Hockey club recently announced a series of 6 exhibition games against USports and NCAA Division 1 opponents to supplement the 2023/24 BCIHL schedule.
Today, we are pleased to announce a fundraising campaign in conjunction with SFU Advancement that would create opportunities for additional exhibition games against similar non-conference opponents for the 2023.24 season and beyond.
Since 2005, SFU Hockey has helped lead the resurgence of collegiate hockey in BC, leading the BCIHL with 5 league championships and becoming the first club team to defeat an NCAA Division 1 opponent last September. Building on local rivalries with the UBC Thunderbirds and TWU Spartans, the team hopes to continue this trajectory.
“The BCIHL has been focused on strengthening the existing teams and uncovering new opportunities for local expansion under the sport-club model,” says Chris Munshaw, SFU Hockey Director of Sales & Marketing.
“We’re committed to our league, and part of that responsibility means elevating the SFU program and exploring ways in which we can help build sustainable long-term growth. Most club teams are challenged without full university funding, but despite that, in BC clubs continue raise to their competitive level through interest from an increasing number of first-class student-athletes moving on from junior hockey and wanting to continue their competitive careers while earning a post-secondary degree locally. The landscape is shifting and we notice a lot of recruits think differently about their path through hockey than they used to.”
“We’ve proven that in BC even as club teams we can be competitive among varsity programs, as a result we’re starting to attract more sponsors and draw more fans. We think this is a positive signal of the opportunities ahead, but we need support from new sponsors and donors to fully realise that opportunity,” says Munshaw, referring to SFU’s 4-3 loss to University of North Dakota in 2014 and their 1-0 win against University of Alaska in 2022, TWU’s 1-0 loss to Wisconsin in 2016 as well a long list of close games between SFU and UBC.
SFU Head Coach Mark Coletta believes there is interest from top tier NCAA Division 1 opponents in the future, and that SFU Hockey has the recruiting strength to compete against those teams with additional support.
“We are in constant contact with junior hockey players across Canada and it is very clear SFU is a desirable academic institution, with hockey competing at the next level we can bring this full circle,” says Coletta. “We’ve had a ton of support from our existing alumni, donors and sponsors to get us to this point, but we want to build on that and we need help in order to create more of these opportunities.”
The funds raised through this campaign go directly towards travel, equipment, facility and staffing costs for the SFU Hockey team. As a sport-club, SFU Hockey is almost entirely funded through sponsorship, donations and player fees. For more information about supporting the SFU club, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit this link.
Aspiring recruits can also connect with the SFU Hockey coaching staff by emailing email@example.com