The race to save UAH hockey has under two days remaining.
As of 6 p.m. CDT Wednesday, over $210,000 of has been raised through the GoFundMe fundraiser, and another $5,000 raised through T-shirt sales. The deadline to reach the $500,000 goal is 5 p.m. CDT Friday.
Former players Tony Guzzo, Matt Parker, Jared Ross, and Shane Stewart held a press conference at the Von Braun Center on Wednesday to give an update.
The program’s most famous alumnus, Calgary Flames goaltender Cam Talbot, has also chimed in.
“The program meant a lot to me,” Talbot said in an article on NHL.com. “I never thought that it would really kind of grow to allow me to live out my dream like I am now. I wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity if I didn’t end up in Alabama.”
Long-term plans: A common question about the campaign is what would happen with the program beyond the 2020-21 season. Concerns are that it would be a short-term fix, leading to the same situation one year now.
The current answer to that is as part of the agreement, UAH would establish an advisory committee to help the university grow and manage the program in the long term. According to UAH alumnus and booster Sheldon Wolitski, in an interview on 97.7 The Zone’s Talkin’ Ball, The committee would:
- Work to find, court, and secure UAH a conference, the obvious target being the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
- Create a 10-year plan for the program, outlining goals, targets & milestones.
- Develop a new marketing plan to increase attendance & community support.
- Work on a plan for a smaller rink close to or on the UAH campus.
Transfers: Several Chargers went on the NCAA transfer portal after Friday’s announcement that the program would be cut. While many players are still looking for potential landing spots or waiting to see how the campaign turns out, two have decided to move on.
Tanner Hickey will be going to Arizona State. The defenseman scored three goals and seven assists as a freshman this past season.
Liam Izyk is transferring to one of the big programs in Boston College. Izyk was also a freshman, netting 11 points on three goals and eight assists.