UNM Lobos finding talent, strong fan support, equals success
Grant Harvey has seen both ends of the spectrum at the University of New Mexico.
When he played, the team rarely had more than the players’ parents in the stands.
Nowadays, the Outpost Ice Arena in Albuquerque is regularly sold out for the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division III team.
“We were running on all cylinders,” said Harvey, now the Lobos’ head coach. “Even after a small slide, the positives are that my young team is playing poised and we are winning the close games and making good comebacks in the third period.”
“It’s been a lot of ups and downs, but overall a great season,” added Lobos captain Austin Short (pictured right). “I’ve been very honored to play for this team.”
Earlier this season, UNM was ranked fifth in the region – its highest ranking in school history. The top 10 teams in each region qualify for the Pacific Region playoffs.
“My expectation is to get to regionals with a full, healthy team and surprise many people with our mostly homegrown talent,” noted Harvey.
Short said the early part of the season had its share of highlights.
“We won several exciting overtime games over Northern Arizona University and Air Force and Graeme Chiasson (pictured top), our leading scorer, has been phenomenal. He always manages to score hitting the puck out of the air, never ceasing to amaze us.”
Playing at the Outpost, tucked up against the Sandia Mountains and looking down at the rest of the city, is unique, according to Short.
“The Outpost is a great place to play hockey,” said Short. “It actually has two ice sheets that are connected by two smaller ice sheets, creating a full loop. Last season, during a game against Metropolitan State University, our fans, and we have great fans, got a little rowdy and broke a pane of glass by pounding on it.
“Being at Outpost, we were able to skate over to the other sheet of ice and finish over there.”
— Matt Mackinder