Club Hockey

Club Hockey
Fall 2019 – The Hill – Sports Pages – Club Hockey

The roots of Denison ice hockey reach back to a conversation between classmates from two distinctive hockey hotbeds. Elliott Trumbull ’57 came to Granville from Detroit, while Dick Metchear ’57 hailed from Boston; they met as freshmen in the fall of 1953, and it wasn’t long before they were commiserating over the sport’s absence on campus. “We basically said, ‘We gotta do something about this,’ and Dick took the lead,” Trumbull recalls. “All the credit goes to him.” 

It started with rounding up a few like-minded lads on campus, then booking ice time at the Olantangy Rink in Columbus, and convincing longtime history professor Bill Preston to be the club’s coach. Finally, they connected with some fellows at Ohio Wesleyan who were similarly inclined; the next year, the two schools met for the first time, marking the debut of Denison club hockey. As interest in the program grew, so too did the travel budget: “It’s a good thing Ohio is a small state,” Trumbull says with a laugh. “There weren’t many rinks available, so we were a road show—Marion, Cleveland, Troy, Cincinnati. We were a bunch of collegians traveling around as much as professionals.”

Recalling Metchear, who died in 2018, Trumbull says his teammate and lifelong friend served as the club’s captain, best player, and de facto league commissioner. They enjoyed not only sharing memories of their own playing days, but watching the program evolve from one that wore hand-me-down jerseys from the football team to the thriving, sharply outfitted program it is today. “They look like a professional team,” Trumbull says. “Dick and I were both so impressed that it’s kept going all these years.” 

Published December 2019