WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — "My freshman year was our first year here and the biggest thing that drew me here was being able to start a program and start something from scratch. And build to where we've been able to build to, and it's been really incredible to see to the point that we are at now," said Ben.
That's Wilkes senior forward Ben Stefanini. He arrived here in 2018 from Massachusetts and has guided this program into the national spotlight. The Colonels are ranked 11th in the country in the latest United States College Hockey online poll.
"This has been great so far like you said. We get to play where the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins play. They are great to us and how they treat us and their staff. And obviously we have been off to a great start this year. We just want to keep it going. We have a really tight group and it's been really fun," added Ben.
Tyler Hynes is in his 3rd season behind the bench with a MAC championship and a 19 win season to show Hynes says this group is different.
"Oh it's been a really exciting start to the year. We did a lot of community service and we did a lot of team building as an important part of our program. It's definitely something that we take pride in. The community accepted us and welcomed us with open arms 4 years ago. If we can chip in a little bit around it then it's really the least that we can do," said Tyler.
Well Wilkes can play physical but normally their game trends towards using their speed and that combination this season has helped Wilkes earn many victories.
"The program has grown so much over these 4 years and I think that is exactly what is going to happen in the future also. It is going to continue to grow and become one of the powerhouses for Division III schools in all of college hockey," said Tyler Dill.
Michael Gurska is the lunch pale guy. He brings the grit.
And the grades to graduate with a degree in sports management.
"I want to stay in hockey post graduation. And I think that was the biggest piece being able to come here and start something on my own really and just be part of something new create my own tradition and build something that is going to last forever here at Wilkes," said Micheal.
Wilkes-Barre is a hockey town now. 22nd season for the Pens and sharing the ice with the college crowd. Hockey is here to stay whether it's the pro's or the amateurs.
Steve Lloyd Newswatch 16 sports Luzerne County.
UPDATE: The Colonels are now ranked 9th in the new poll released Monday, December 6, 2021.