Welcome to the 2021-22 Season
It goes without saying how challenging the last 18 months has been. Last season, we were unable to compete in any games. This season brings us a fresh start to get back on the ice and compete for a National Title. We have a tremendous group of players returning and an outstanding group of Freshmen arriving on campus. The staff believes this will be the most talented team in years for the UK Hockey Club.
Let me first introduce myself. My name is Ryan Van Daniker and I am in my second year as the General Manager, fourth year with the team. Head Coach Tim Pergram “recruited” me to help him out after James Ison’s time as GM came to an end. I am doing my best to continue building an elite, nationally recognized program.
When Coach Pergram took over the program five years ago, it was a shell of its former self. In short order with a thin roster, they were able to achieve success on the ice. Year two found even more success and the program attracted more talented players. Year three, the competition improved and a young team had to learn how to battle on the ice. Last year would’ve been an exciting team for the fans to watch, which brings us to this season.
Coach TP and his staff have done a tremendous job of recruiting exceptional young men. They are “Scholar Athletes”, with scholar being the first quality. Our team GPA sits at 3.12, which shows the kind of work these young men have put in the classroom. They are also young men of integrity, which is a reflection of their parents. Some of my proudest moments weren’t even on the ice, but the compliments I received at restaurants or a gas station when we were traveling. Watching every single young man thank a parent who bought food for the team was a true reflection of their character.
On the ice this season, this team will be challenged. The TSCHL is one of the premier leagues in the country, with the likes of Miami of Ohio, Michigan and Louisville. We will also face Tennessee, DePaul, and Alabama’s D1 team, to name a few. The difficult schedule will prepare the team to make a run through Regionals and qualify for Nationals next Spring. We look forward to seeing all our fans back out for Midnight Mayhem!
Ryan Van Daniker
University of Kentucky Hockey