CIHL going strong at ConU

It’s like the slogan says: “Hockey is Canada.” So, as Canadians, boys and girls from all over the country dream to someday play professionally, or to represent
Canada on the international scene.
But most people come to the realization in their early teens that they won’t be NHLers, so education and other aspects of life start to take priority and hockey goes to the backburner.
By the time young Canadians hit university, the reality is that with four or five courses, a part-time job, and whatever else that may occupy one’s life, they just don’t have the time to play anymore.
Or do they?
Concordia, like many other universities and colleges has its own intramural hockey league for those players who don’t have the skill or time to play for the varsity team, the Stingers.
The league has been around since the inception of the school in the mid-seventies, and is designed to cater to the students’ needs.
For current Concordia students, the cost is $85 for a 15 to 17 game season, plus playoffs. Alumni are also welcome in the league, and the cost for them is $175.
The games are usually at least a week apart from each other, and take place Wednesday to Friday nights, and all day on the weekend.
“For the most part (the schedule) is fine,” Sudeep Matthew, captain of the ECA Hounds said. “Playing on weekends is perfect and nights is perfect.”
The 30+ team league is governed by Michael Rinaldi, who has been the president since 1993. He does a lot of hard work to get the league together and keep it running smoothly throughout the year.
“Off the ice, everything is fine,” he said. “Most players are respectful, and I
try to work out all of their problems.”
On the ice, however, Rinaldi had to deal with a lot of issues this year.
“There’s a lot of attitude. Especially with the young crop of refs we have this season, the players think they know the rules better than (the officials),” he said.
“This year it’s been very tense,” he said. “I think it comes down to a lack of respect for the refs and other players.”
That translated into four ejections this season, and several suspensions handed
down by Rinaldi.
The problem is that while the level of competition has increased over the last
few years, the quality of refereeing has not.
“We could always use better refs,” Rinaldi said. “That’s not to knock the ones
we’ve got now, but they could be better.”
But not all is afoul in the Concordia Intramural Hockey League.
This season was one of the most competitive in recent years, as almost every team in the league had a shot at making the playoffs right down to the wire.
Next year, Rinaldi is hoping for more student involvement, as the league is roughly split at 60% current students to 40% alumni.
He is shooting for about 75% of current Concordia students, and is likely to publicize the league a little more next year to achieve that goal.
“We could always use more students,” he said. He talked about how the league has not had much publicity, and that he needs to do a better job of it.
To join the CIHL next season, call Sports Information at 848-3858 and ask for Mike.

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