>Gold Schedule
>Silver Schedule
>Gold Roster
>Silver Roster
>Gold Statistics
>Silver Statistics
>New Player FAQ
>Cougar History
>E. Alton Ice Arena


Gold Team

Silver Team

In 1996, the Club formed and petitioned to be a member of the Mid American Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA), an affiliate member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). It was granted a probationary status. The Club, made up of players mostly from the immediate area around the campus, played and practiced at the East Alton Ice Arena. In its inaugural season the Club posted no victory's.

In the 1997-98 season, the Cougars officially became a part of the Mid American Collegiate Hockey Association. The Club moved to the US Ice Sports Complex in Fairview Heights. The Cougars record for the season was six wins and fifteen losses. In November of the 1998-99 season, then Coach and General Manager Bill Miziak, ceased operation of the team as a participating member of the Mid American Collegiate Hockey Association, due to administrative and financial shortcomings. All games were cancelled. All Club assets (jerseys, pucks, water bottles, and the team banner) were lost.

In May of 1999, down but not out, the Club's Student Board of Directors went to the Mid American Collegiate Hockey Association's yearly meeting and requested reinstatement for the Cougars. Scott Cloin headed up the effort and along with other members of the Club, presented themselves in a mature and business like manner that so impressed the MACHA member teams, that they were granted their request for the coming season.

The 1999-2000 found the Club under new leadership. With direction from Cloin, Corby Carlson, Scott Stahlhut, Bryan Raymer and Tom Hoagland, the team regrouped. Mr. Larry Thatcher, General Manager of the East Alton Ice Arena and Head Coach of the Roxana Shells High School Hockey Club, was approached and agreed to serve as Head Coach and General Manager for the team, along with Assistant Coach Mr. Dennis Gerling. The University's, Chad Rogers, was soundly behind the team offering both advice and providing the maximum in financial help that was allowed under the guidelines of SIUE. The team moved its games and practices back to the East Alton Ice Arena and held open tryouts. The 1999-00 season was a struggle with the Cougars winning only three games, losing sixteen games and tying one. But progress was being made. A budget was in place, all players paid their financial obligations and several sponsors came forward to help out. The new and improved Cougar Hockey Club had a sense of honor, sportsmanship and discipline that was lacking in its first two seasons. It was being run like a business and despite a losing record; it was evident that the Club was on its way and entering a new era. A Mission Statement was adopted in 1999 and reads as follows:

The Southern Illinois University Cougars Hockey Club is dedicated to providing the student athlete an opportunity to participate in the sport of ice hockey. The team will belong to an established, legitimate ice hockey league competing for regional and national titles. The Club shall emphasize academic performance with eligibility criteria, sportsmanship, and institutional integrity.

In 2000-2001, the Cougars posted yet again, another losing season going 3-13-1. However, administratively many things had changed. The club now had assets in the ownership of four sets of game jerseys and socks, practice jerseys, pucks, water bottles, medical kit and the many ancillary items that it takes to be a viable hockey team. Continued support from Club Sports at SIUE, both financially and in spirit, heightened the awareness in the Clubs members of their closeness to the University and their need to maintain its integrity. In keeping with the new Mission Statement, players understood that they were an extension of the University wherever they were as a team. Each player signed an agreement of financial obligation and "code of conduct" to be a participant in the club. The bills were getting paid and being a part of the team was something to be proud of. The Cougars had a lot of fun in the 3-13-1 season and while they were still losing, the scores were getting closer and respect was forming around the league for the feisty group of players from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

The 2001-2002 was a turn around year for the Club. Building on the foundation set in place the two previous seasons, new players began to arrive. Recent high school stars from around the area as well as a stand out from Red Bud, Illinois by the name of Sean Walls, showed up in the Cougars annual "mini camp". The camp is held each spring and invites high school juniors and seniors from everywhere to experience "Cougar Pride". These potential newcomers get to play alongside veteran Cougar players such as Cloin, Raymer, Mike Cusack, Griffin Petri, and Joe Schmitt, getting a real "feel" for the atmosphere of the Club. They liked what they saw. With seven new players added to the core of veteran Cougars, the team went 18-9-1 for the year. One of the bright moments was beating Bradley University for the first time in the history of the Club, and doing it in their "house" at the Owens Center in Peoria. The Cougars finished in first place in the Regular Season - Silver Tier of the Mid American Collegiate Hockey Association, Division II and were no longer the brunt of jokes around the league. With the Regular Season Championship under its belt, the Club went to Chicago to compete in its first ever MACHA Championship Playoff. Winning the first round over the University of Iowa, the Cougars went on to compete against Robt. Morris College - Chicago for the Silver Division Championship. Leading 3-2, the game slipped through the fingers of the Cougars when Robt. Morris tied the game with just :38 to play in regulation time, going on to win the game in overtime, scoring 5:32 into the first overtime period. But the season had been a tremendous success and the boys looked forward to the coming fall. The season ended with a banquet and honored Chad Rogers with the teams new "Presidents Award" for his continued support of the club.

The 2002-2003 season started off with a bang when nearly fifty players showed up for the August tryouts. Among them were star players from Christian Boys College of St. Louis, Matt Kaiser and Austin Jones, standout forward Jason Walker from the Edwardsville Tigers High School Hockey Club as well as a former St. Louis University - Division I player and Chicago native, Joe DiMaggio. Along with these formidable "rookies", fourteen veteran Cougar players returned to take part in what would turn out to be the Clubs first LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON. With so many players eager to participate in Cougar Hockey, the Club decided to add a second team which would serve as a Junior Varsity team and participate as a Division III team. Mr. Craig Buntenbach agreed to serve as Head Coach for the D-III team.

The 2002-03 highlights are outlined below:

  • D-II team finished the year with a 19-6-1 record. 10-3-1 in Conference and in second place in the Silver Tier.

  • id American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II - Silver Tier Champions.

  • The Cougars D-II was ranked amongst the top ten teams in the Central Region of the American Collegiate Hockey Association. We were #10, and we were only there for a week, but it was the first time in the history of the club that we've ever been ranked at all.

  • Defeating Northern Illinois University for the first time in Club history.

  • Defeating the University of Missouri - St. Louis for the first time in Club history.

  • Defeating all the teams in the tier above us except one, Palmer that we didn't get to play and one, St. Louis University, which we out shot 68 to 33.

  • Watching Northern Illinois University and the University of Missouri - St. Louis compete against each other for the Mid American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II, Gold Tier Championship, knowing that, playing out of our tier, we had defeated each of them during regular season play.

  • Beating Bradley in Peoria, on their senior night. Bradley was in a tier above us and had finished in first place in that tier.

  • After losing and tying Northwestern in the regular season, defeating them 11 - 3 in the playoffs, to advance to the championship round.

  • Defeating Robert Morris College - Springfield to bring the Mid American Collegiate Hockey Association - Division II, Silver Tier Championship home to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

  • The addition of the D-III team. (The newly formed D-III team had an outstanding season as well, closing out the year at 15-7).

  • Added financial support from SIUE Club Sports.

  • Being able to see our graduating seniors Scott Cloin, Bryan Raymer and Tommy Brown leave their playing days behind them as CHAMPIONS!

  • Last but not least, being honored by the recognition given to the Cougar Hockey Club by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, at Goshen Hall on February 26.
  • Author: Joe Schmitt
    URL: http://www.siue.edu/STACTV/ICEHOCKEY/index.html
    Last Updated: 9/26/03 12:44 AM
    Published by: SIUE Ice Hockey Club
    Any problems, concerns, or questions pertaining to this site can be resolved via e-mail to jschmitt21@charter.net
    Copyright © 2000, Board of Trustees, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville