The Trinity Western University Titans men’s hockey team is growing up and are no longer Titans; they’re Spartans. Over the past few years the Titans have out grown their Recreational Services beginnings and will be playing CIS hockey in the next few years. This team, which plays hockey in the BCIHL, competes against six other universities and colleges, and will be entering the season under the name Spartans for the first time in 20 years at TWU.
The move comes after the Titans’ ambitions for playing competitive hockey could no longer be financially supported from the Rec Services budget. As a result, the Titans left the department and have found a new home under the Spartan brand that will allow them to continue to play competitive hockey while developing new talent to bring TWU more success both on and off the ice.
The Spartans have had their moments playing in the BCIHL, including having won two championships in 2005 and 2006. However, due to the strength of competition in the league, success can quickly be overturned, which the Titans experienced from 2006-2009, when they finished 4th in the playoffs each year. But now with a new logo, new personality, and more money behind the program, the Spartans will grow in strength at TWU with its fans following closely behind. The team will also be heavily freshman loaded; having a majority of the players beginning their Titans careers in combination with recruiting higher talent to assist the transition into a CIS program.
The excitement over this news is not only within the team itself, but even with past alumni players who have seen the program grow on a year to year basis. Josh Schweitzer, two years removed from TWU and former Titans hockey star says, “To see the program and the league as a whole grow is obviously very exciting. First and foremost, I can’t help but think of the decades of commitment and hard work that Dr. Chuck MacKnee has put into the Titans/Spartans program. On top of this, I am truly amazed with the work that Dwayne Lowdermilk has done in just the two years that he has been with the organization.”
The team heads into the 2010-2011 campaign ready looking to start a new culture both on and off the ice with the leadership of strong, fundamental coaching under the former NHL player with the Washington Capitals, Dwayne Lowdermilk. But while Lowdermilk himself could not be reached for comment, Schweitzer finalizes it best when he concludes, “the competition is heating up, the calibre of talent is getting better, and the recognition of the league as a whole is growing within Canada.”
The Spartans kick off their season on opening night against the University of Fraser Valley on Friday, September, 24th at the Langley Events Center, starting at 7pm.
By: Jamieson Brooks