What a handful of students started with their own resources 50 years ago has grown into a successful club program with two teams playing in the American Collegiate Hockey Association and competing against top ACHA teams regionally.
And it’s still funded, in part, by the players, with help from the university, alumni and underwriters. As a sport with specialized requirements such as a regulation-size ice rink for practices and games, the Bradley hockey team goes off-campus to Peoria’s Owens Center.
“It’s a thriving system right now,” said Logan Nigg ’21. “We have two teams and 40-plus players.”
Bradley’s teams are at the Division 2 and 3 levels of the three-tier ACHA, which has teams nationwide, including at the University of Illinois, Illinois State University and Iowa State University, as well as at schools that have NCAA hockey. Bradley’s season starts with a training camp in August before the team’s scheduled games, which run from September to February.
Alumni participants continue to support the team and special outdoor contests feature alumni vs. current players. “We’ve got (alumni) who come around and watch the games and help out,” Nigg said.