Hockey: D2 team’s distinctions include $1,600 fee

The Ohio University D2 hockey team practices in Bird Arena Wednesday. (Brien Vincent)

The Ohio Division I and Division II club hockey teams share Bird Arena and the Ohio name, but that is as far as the resemblances reach.

Each team has a different roster and different coaches, and wear different jerseys during  games — these are the most obvious distinguishing factors that help to form each team’s unique identity.

The most glaring difference between the two squads is  that the Division II team pays to play ——a $1,600 fee greets any new recruits.

This includes travel, hotel and van rental fare for road trips, time on the ice at Bird Arena, cages to store their equipment, as well as the money required to pay referees, training and coaching staff.

Returning players pay a slightly smaller fee than rookies at $1,200. The additional $400 that goes into the first-year fee buys the players the equipment they’ll need for the initial and future seasons.

Senior forward Nick Frasse, who is also the team captain and team treasurer, said most players have been paying to play since they were younger, so few have a problem meeting the steep price tag.

“As far as paying to play goes, the price isn’t uncommon, especially since only a handful of our team played juniors,” Frasse said. “In high school, the students pay to play. The sport is expensive, but the price is fairly reasonable for what we get.”

Although the Division II team acquires its players through open tryouts, word of mouth has helped spread the word about the existence of the team.

“Kids from all over Ohio are hearing about the (Division II) team,” Frasse said. “The team provides guys the chance to play competitively, but for a team that requires less commitment.”

Head coach Phil Oberlin said new additions have brought this team farther along to this point than those that he has overseen since the team’s inception three years ago.

“On that aspect we drew a little more talent, and I think we’re ahead of where we were last year at this point,” he said.

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