This series will feature a behind the scenes look at what it is like to play hockey in the desert southwest.  From the travel, to the meetings, team bonding, game day preparation, team meals  and more.  Take a look at the dedication it takes to play the game of hockey from the juniors to the professionals.

     Late September in Arizona can signify many things, however for the University of Arizona men's hockey team, it means the season is about to begin and what better way to start than a day long road trip to play an instate rival, the Northern Arizona University Ice Jacks.  This trip would be a little different for the men from Tucson, because in addition to the 30 players, two coaches and a bus driver on board today was the senior writer / video cameraman from Ice Time Hockey SW ready to document their every move for the new "On the Road...Off the Ice" series. 


     The team boarded the bus just before 1 pm with a light rain falling to begin what would be a 13 hour trip to the cool pines and 7,000 foot elevation in Flagstaff, AZ.  Coach Chad Berman arrives and boards the bus while taking care of last minute trip details on his cell phone wearing a bright red shirt and tie picked out by his young son, Grady who insisted he should be wearing an all red suit.  After all that is the "power" color of the school.

University of Arizona Wildcats...Tucson to Flagstaff!

Don't Miss Our Newest Feature Series this Season...  On the Road...Off The Ice!

Watch for our 2017-18 On the Road...Off the Ice

Schedule Coming Soon!

     The clothing compromise was met and Berman was on board and ready to get the 2016-17 season started despite having just four on ice practices due to the lack of ice time in Tucson.  Believe it or not, Tucson has just one ice sheet and that currently is undergoing renovation for the city's newest hockey team the American Hockey League affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes, the Tucson Roadrunners.   For Berman, this is nothing new and something he refuses to use as an excuse, but clearly it has made his job much more difficult.  With the coach on board the players carrying their own equipment begin to board casually dressed for the trip of more than three hours.  In addition, to their hockey equipment each player is loaded with personal items and their dress clothes that will soon be hung all over the bus. 


     First order of business is finding a DVD movie to watch and John Hogan approaches the front of the bus with a handful options, however the nearly unanimous choice is the classic Dumb and Dumber.  While many players choose to watch the movie others are deep into their laptops or phones, with Toppie Hogan choosing for an opportunity to watch a 1987 DVD of a the University of Arizona. 


     One hour into the trip as we are approaching Phoenix the rain has ended and sun has returned as the players continue their personal preparation, physically and mentally.  Gallon water jugs are plentiful along with sport drinks of various sizes and flavors.  Meanwhile coach Berman and his first year, volunteer assistant Eddie LaVilla watch video on a tablet planning strategy for tonight's game.