The Men’s Fairfield Hockey team has always been one of the most highly anticipated sports to watch at Fairfield.

At Bridgeport’s Wonderland of Ice, where the team both plays games and practices, there is always a packed house filled with fans rooting-on the Stags.

With a 2-0 record for this 2010 season and ranked number one in the Empire Collegiate Hockey Conference (ECHC), Fairfield hockey captains Brian Loftus and Pat Walters are feeling pretty good.

“We’re off to a good start,” said Loftus ’11, “but we need to keep our practices moving faster and stronger. We need to keep our intensity high and not underestimate other teams and not underestimate how well the other teams can play. We don’t want to let the 2-0 on our record get to our heads.”

Albany, ranked second in the ECHC was the Fairfield hockey teams’ first defeat.

It was a close game with a score of 5-4, but the Stags brought home a victory.

Their most recent game, an away match up against Hofstra, was yet another win for the Stags at 9-2.  Hofstra is ranked fifth in the ECHC.

The team, which has plenty of young talent, gained a lot of freshmen players this year to help bring the team to victory with their impressive offense and defense skills.

“The freshmen are really good, they have really great skill,” said Loftus. “Patrick Breed is a really strong power forward, great hands, great skating skills and shot. And he’s really good at setting up the play and finishing. Tim Harrington is another really good, notable freshman.”

Captain Pat Walters ’11 agrees with his fellow captain.

“So far the freshman have been our biggest assets. We’ve had four or five of them already score their first goals, and many have repeated since, so they’ve contributed a lot.”

But the winning record cannot be contributed to one game or one class. It is truly the bond of the team that keeps them strong.

“I’d say our biggest strength as a team is the chemistry that we have not only on the ice, but in the locker room and on the buses as well,” said Walters, “Everyone enjoys coming to the rink and we all work hard while were there.”

With a successful start to the season, Walters foresees a strong rest of the year. “Well obviously I’d like to go undefeated, but I feel that making it to nationals is our ultimate goal. We made it our freshman year and to do it again would be amazing,” he said.

The Stags’ next game will be their first home game on Oct. 22 at 8:30 p.m. against Wagner College who is not yet in the ECHC but is trying to move in. Both captains are very optimistic with how the game will go.

“I think it will go well. If we play like we did in the first period against Hofstra where we have an all out attack and we don’t allow them to control the puck or even touch the puck, we’re going to be good,” said Loftus.

Walters agrees.“I think it should be a great game. As long as we play at our pace and at even-strength we should have no problem winning. Especially if we keep playing the way we have been.”

Along with captains Loftus and Walters are co-captains Chris Pacicco ’12 and Steve Genualdi ’12 to help assist the Fairfield hockey team on a successful season.  To look up future games and roster of the Men’s Fairfield Hockey team, visit www.stagshockey.com.

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