SMU Club Hockey celebrates season successes

At this time last month, the SMU Club Hockey team was suiting up in Mansfield, Texas to face East Texas Baptist University for the Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference (TCHC) playoffs.

In a game that ended 3-2, this campaign sent a strong message to the players of the quality they possessed and how this run could easily be replicated in a later season for a run at the TCHC title and regionals for club collegiate hockey.

And although ETBU went on to win the title, SMU students see their time at the collegiate competition as an opportunity to grow.

“This year we had a big step up in commitment levels from every member of the team,” SMU club hockey player Clayton Malone said. “A lot of the guys got really excited about winning a lot and what the future can hold.”

The team’s growth was on full display throughout the run they made on the way to the playoffs. Playing other colleges like UT, OSU, UNT, TCU, Baylor, TXST, and ETBU in the Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference (TCHC), the team managed to defeat some of the more prominent universities in the Texas area even when being second favourites in games.

SMU Club Hockey sophomore player Martin Thompson celebrates in a Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference game. Photo Credit: Ice Girls
SMU Club Hockey sophomore player Michael Thompson (10) celebrates in a Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference game. Photo Credit: Ice Girls

“We made the semi-finals last year, but this was a much better showing than last season,” said Andrew Engel, player and captain of the club hockey team. “We were extremely close.”

Overall surpassing expectations, the team boasted a regular season record of (11 wins / 7 losses / 0 Overtime Loses) and a playoff game record of (12 wins / 8 losses / 0 OTL). SMU Junior Matt Peterson finished as first in points on the team. Peterson, Clayton Malone, and Michael Thompson tied for first in season assists.

Despite being full-time students, the SMU club hockey team and its players are able to combine their academic workload with the demands of club hockey practices and games, committing themselves to a sport they love.

“We do a good job spreading out the practices and the games,” Malone said. “We try to do two practices a week and play games every other weekend to give players a chance to focus on their schoolwork.”

For some of these players, hockey is a means of catching a break and playing a sport they love. Representing one’s school in club sports shows one’s commitment to any sport, said Engel.

“For me, hockey is almost everything,” he said. “At the club level, you have to pay to play, and that really shows you love the sport and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to play. That is shown through all the guys that are on the team.”

The team also aims to bring together all SMU students who are interested in hockey, both on and off the ice through events and community initiatives.

“We’re just a bunch of brothers,” Engel said. “We did a ton of things together and always kept close contact which has made us all closer on and off the ice.”

The SMU Ice Girls (a group of female hockey enthusiasts at SMU who manage the team’s social media, marketing and advertising) have been a massive help in spreading the news about the club hockey team this year and have been in charge of taking photos and creating graphics for the team’s social media pages.

“Hockey is such an electrifying sport to be a part of and experience, so being able to work with the team and help bring that to SMU has been really great,” said Isabella Wells, president of Ice Girls. “Seeing the continuous support for the team grow throughout this season gets me really excited for next season.”

SMU Club Hockey player Tyler Chang vies for the ball in a Texas Collegiate Championship game. Phot Credit: Ice Girls
SMU Club Hockey seniour player Tyler Chang vies for the ball in a Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference game. Photo Credit: Ice Girls

The SMU Club Hockey season runs from September in the fall semester to February in the spring semester. The team practices at the Dallas Stars Centres in Richardson and Valley Rancho Monday and Thursday nights. Tryouts are typically held in late August/early September in the Fall semester to recruit new team members.

Students are able to attend games for free at the Dallas Stars Centres in Richardson and Valley Ranch. Games are also able to be streamed online at

For more information on the SMU Club Hockey team, email the current president Andrew Engel at