BOZEMAN- We caught up with the hockey team that won our hearts last year.
The MSU Bobcat Hockey Team hits the ice Friday night and this season the Bobcats hit the ice in a new seat.
Right now, they are ranked number 4 out of 65 teams. Last season the Bobcats went head to head with the top teams, winning the team a trip to nationals for the first time in program history.
Every obstacle that was thrown their way they overcame and they say it’s all because they knew they had hometown support.
Assistant Coach Pete Kamman says this year is no different as they eye another trip to nationals. Now that MSU is on the map they want to keep it that way.
“We’ve taken steps to become more serious and more competitive, last year was a big piece of that.” Kamman said, “We started surprising people at how competitive we really were, and I think we’ve taken another jump this year.”
Kamman points out that they have been working hard to build not only a strong coaching staff but a stronger team.
“In just the last couple of weeks we’ve been beating programs, in 20 years.. [of MSU Hockey] we’ve never beaten [some of these team] before, we’ve made very large strides in the last two years,” Kamman said.
The team did have to wait a little while to get practice in as there isn’t year-round ice in Bozeman. The Bobcats drove to Butte to get their first few practices in.
For sophomore Orion Herman, he says his heart, blood, sweat, and tears are all being put out on this ice not only for his team but for his new city.
“This program is the reason I came here, I wanted to play competitive hockey, I wanted to play with guys who I knew were in it to win a national championship and represent the logo,” Herman said.
The team has become his second family, helping him navigate college life, but the City of Bozeman has become his new home.
“I don’t think I’m ever going to leave here, I love every single piece of it,” Herman said, “I love all the outdoor activities, I love the hockey community, I love the school, and, I love the town.”
Herman and Kamman both say the team is operating like a full division one program and that everyone is committed to bringing home the first national title in hockey for MSU.
That journey back to nationals continues this Friday evening at the Hayes Pavilion in Bozeman.
The Bobcats will be taking on the Western Washington University Vikings and that game will be broadcasted live on our sister station SWX. The puck drops at 7 p.m.