NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Albertus Magnus College announced it was starting a men’s hockey program about a year and a half ago. We are now less than a month away from the Falcons’ home opener at the newly renovated Ralph Walker Rink in New Haven.
Players and coaches are excited to get this new program off the ground and make a name for themselves in college hockey.
Albertus Head Hockey Coach, Kyle Wallack, certainly has his hands full. Starting a hockey program from scratch is not an easy thing.
“Honestly, it’s been a long run,” says Wallack. “It’s been a long year; it’s been an exciting year. A lot of little buckets that don’t add up day-to-day, but after months, we’ve finally arrived…It’s nice to see the hard work from a lot of people kind of come together and culminate into this right now.”
Right now, Wallack has a roster with more than 30 players from all over the world, including Australia.
A couple of players from Connecticut jumped at the change to be part of this new program. Zack Withington of Branford said of the program, “You know, I’m a local guy and I live 15 minutes away, so once the team was announced a couple of years ago I was like ‘OK I’m gonna give it a shot.'” Doug Johnson of Darien added, “I was really liking Albertus, weighing my options, and I couldn’t pass up being close to home. And starting a new program is something really special.”
Wallack, a West Hartford native, was an assistant coach at Quinnipiac and Yale. He understands how passionate local hockey fans are, and he’s confident he has a plan to build a winning team.
“I think that the kids believe in what I’m trying to tell them and preach to them,” Wallack said. “This is my vision, and these are my goals, and this is what I want to do with this. And take this kind of no-name place of Albertus Magnus and build in the hockey world to be a national contender.”