Ryan Johnston helps a Colgate student put his skates on prior to hitting the ice.

Ryan Johnston helps a Colgate student put his skates on prior to hitting the ice.

(Editor’s note: this article first appeared here, and was written by Matt Faulkner.)

During winter break, the Colgate men’s hockey team welcomed many of the university’s international students to Starr Rink ice in a different type of Learn to Skate program.

The program had a special twist this time as Brooks Herrington ’15 and Julian Fialkow ’17 helped organize the event. They joined head coach Don Vaughan and Assistant Dean and Director of International Student Services Christina Khan to give the students a great experience.

“It was a great way to get to know international students from around the campus who we have never been able to get the chance to meet or interact with,” Fialkow said. “Overall it was an amazing experience seeing how eager the students were to learn about hockey and how easily some of them were able to pick up skating and shooting.”

It was a full afternoon with a tour of the locker room and Starr Rink as well as a slide show to give the international students a basic understanding of the game of hockey. Following the information session the team went onto the ice and taught the students how to skate.

Khan was very appreciative of the team and how they took time to teach her students.

“The team’s kindness and generosity were heartwarming,” Khan said. “I am so appreciative of all of their efforts to put on such a great event.”

One of the participants, Tony Wang ’15, got to try hockey for the first time and said he will always remember putting on the skates for the first time.

“That day opened a new world for me,” Wang said. “The event ignited my interest in watching ice hockey and now I’m a staunch fan of the Colgate men’s hockey team. I’m so grateful for this wonderful opportunity and amazing experience.”

Herrington said the team continued to talk about the outing later that week.

“I believe the event was a success, and the players had a great time,” said Herrington. “We still talk about some of the international students’ moves at practice during the week. I personally had a blast, and think the students did too. It was a really great experience that we as a team were happy to participate in.”

The Raiders have gone undefeated since the Learn to Skate program, so it has given the team some good luck. Colgate looks to continue its winning ways this weekend with a visit to Brown and Yale. The Raiders return home next week for a single game against rival Cornell on Saturday night. Tickets are going fast, so get yours today at Bleed Colgate Maroon or call the Colgate Ticket Office at 315-228-7600.