College of the Canyons’ defending ACHA National champion Cougars hockey team gets a month off before beginning its playoff run in early January.
Behind head coach John Taferner and the leading scorer, team captain Brian Voogt, the Cougars believe they’re poised for a repeat.
“Pretty good, honestly,” defense man Wayne Ravdjee said of the team’s chances to bring home another trophy. “We’ve got a solid core group of guys. As much as we like to rag on each other, it’s like a strange brotherhood you get after a while.”
Currently undefeated, the Cougars are dominating the Pacific Division and are even beating Division 2 schools such as San Diego State along the way.
Although the Cougars have consistently been a top collegiate hockey team nationwide for the last few years, most people don’t even know College of the Canyons has a hockey team, and the players feel they deserve more recognition.
“Maybe if more people could recognize how we’ve been dominating the league for the last two or three seasons, maybe (we’d) get a little bit more recognition,” Ravdjee said.
While the Cougars lost a few key members of their championship team, they are confident in the new members stepping up to fill the void.
“Our first line is definitely stepping up with me and my line mate Brian Voogt and Chris Remsburg,” said forward Ben Conroy. “Our second line, green line, they’re picking up the slack when we can’t do it.”
The Cougars are a well-rounded team with an offense that puts pucks in the net, and gets support from a solid defense and excellent goalie play.
The Cougars’ next game takes place Jan. 6 on their home ice at the Valencia Ice Station. The Cougars begin their title defense in February.