"Grit and Grace"

 Covenant Club Hockey Team. Photo by Nate Groelsema

Covenant Club Hockey Team. Photo by Nate Groelsema

You may have missed it in the flurry of activity that is the end of the semester, procrastination finally exacting its toll and finals quickly approaching, but there was a big game played last Tuesday night down in Chattanooga. The Covenant club hockey team skated to a 4-2 victory over the local “Pucks Anonymous” club last week to claim the Chattanooga Hockey League championship.

The Covenant club team started out slow this year as they added new players and looked to find their rhythm. After the first six games, the squad had a 1-4-1 record. But the team improved under the leadership of senior Nate Groelsema and junior Noah Dillingham as the season moved on, winning their final two games to improve their regular season record to 3-4-1. Due to bad weather, quite a few of the regular season games were rained out, and the Covenant team finished the regular season in a tie for second place.  

The Chattanooga Hockey League has five teams, some school teams and some local “house” teams. Covenant’s club hit their stride heading into the playoffs and knocked off the competition 6-1 in the semi-finals. In the championship the Scots faced off against “Pucks Anonymous,” a team that beat Covenant twice in the regular season. The Covenant squad’s improvement showed in the finals, however, as the Scots played their best all-around game of the season and pulled out a 4-2 win. Covenant got out to a fast start, going up 2-0. Then Noah Dillingham finished a two on one to give the Scots a commanding 3-0 lead. Dillingham would score once more before the end of the game, providing the insurance goal and the 4-2 win for Covenant.  The Covenant College Business Department was well represented also as Dr. Scott Quatro, Professor of Management, found the back of the net for a goal earlier in the game. Dr. Quatro chalked the championship win up to how hard the Covenant team competed. ‘We simply outcompeted them,” said Quatro. “We won most of the fifty-fifty puck battles and probably blocked ten plus shots...that translated into three of our four goals and held them to zero goals until the last three minutes of the game.”

This was the third year for the Covenant Hockey Club, but this was the club’s first time winning the championship.  The squad’s “combination of grit and grace,” as Quatro put it, was what put this year’s team over the top and allowed them to be successful.  The club plays a season each fall and spring and welcomes newcomers. The turnout was not as large this year as in year’s past, so there is room for new players. If you are returning to Covenant next fall, have some hockey experience, and are looking to scratch the itch of playing hockey even here in the South, the Covenant Hockey Club is waiting for you. Almost everyone on the hockey team has a good bit of experience, either playing roller or ice hockey. However, a developmental league has recently been created as part of the Chattanooga Hockey League, so there is room to join for those who do not have much of a hockey resume.

Want to be part of the Covenant hockey tradition? “If you are a hockey player and a student at Covenant College then you would be CRAZY to NOT join the club!” says Quatro. “I can promise you two things: the joy of playing the greatest game in God's good creation, and the joy of brotherhood on the bench and on the rink. A great combo!” If you are interested in the Covenant Hockey Club, contact club president Noah Dillingham at noah.dillingham@covenant.edu.