Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post


Hockey: Faceoff with facial hair, scruff fosters team unity

To measure the postseason success of a hockey team, one must look no further than the faces of those on the team. The longer the facial hair, the more success the team has had.


Beginning this weekend, the Ohio hockey team will compete in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament, and for the third-seeded Bobcats, the longer the beards, the better.

The tournament, which will be held at the University of Delaware, is a five-day event that begins tomorrow and features the nation’s top 16 teams. The tournament culminates with the national championship game March 9.

Ohio will make its 18th consecutive appearance in the tournament and plays No. 14 Canton, State University of New York in the opening round.

In accordance with an increasing hockey tradition, many members of the team have begun superstitious playoff rituals — the most common of which is the playoff beard.

“Shaving during playoffs is a no-no for anyone on the team,” sophomore forward Tyler Pilmore said. “All of us have facial hair of some sort.”

 For hockey players, the beard is a rite of passage, and the best way to track progress during a playoff run.

Although the beard is the most common, other hairstyles are also accepted. For example, Michael Schultz, Zander Dover and Duncan Green have all recently been seen sporting a mullet.

Still others choose to go another direction.

“Jeremy Browning, a very light blonde guy, dyed his beard black giving him the old Hollywood (Hulk) Hogan effect,” defenseman Steve Osacky said.

For those who struggle to grow a beard, alternative routes must be taken.

“I simply won’t get a haircut throughout the duration of the tournament and try not to shave as long as it doesn’t get too embarrassing,” Osacky said. “I can say there’s probably a few others, like myself, lacking facial-hair-growing strengths that will fly the same route.”

For coach Dan Morris, the playoff beard is just an excuse not to shave.

“Normally I have to shave everyday for work, but now if someone sees me and I have a scruff going I just tell them it’s a playoff beard and everyone understands,” Morris said.

While facial hair might measure the team’s success it must maintain its poise throughout the tournament, Morris said.

After falling to Iowa State in the semi-finals last year, Morris said he believes his team struggled in close games.


“We were a good team but we weren’t a complete team,” he said. “Adversity bothered us last year.”

But with the big game experience this year’s team has, the players might be better equipped for a run at the title, Morris said.

“It comes down to the play of your goaltenders, your maturity and your defensive play,” he said. “We play in a great league, and we play great teams throughout the year. I think our experience gives us a better chance this year than last year.”


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH