(L-R) Rick dell, Kevin DeFelice and Roland DeFelice enjoying a laugh during one of the alumni games.
“The Alumni Years”
1983 – 1994
Keeping the Dream Alive
After the Polar Bearcats formally disbanded in the Fall of 1982, a dedicated group of alumni kept the dream alive of reforming an ice hockey team at Saint Vincent College by scheduling periodic alumni matches. During these contests, students were invited to play and in several of the games, there were enough experienced players on campus for the undergrads to actually form complete teams that would have been extremely competitive had the college fielded a program in the WPIHA.
Players such as Damien Wisolik, Greg O’Meara, and Joe Luther, to name only a few, would have clearly been all stars. Additionally, Pete Gueverra, Kevin DeFelice, Jason Sicora, and many others who played in these “friendly games” were without a doubt worthy of truly being called college athletes. To the best of all memories, the alumni only won once in all the years that these games were played. That was a 6-5 victory in 1979 – 1980. One match should have been won by the alumni team but was stolen in the waning seconds. Pete Gueverra scored a disputed goal to knot the contest at 7-7.
It was amazing how competitive these games became and how much many of the former players looked forward to the events, even though they were not played in every year. As some of the alumni had sons and daughters starting to play, they too were invited and squared off against one another in some special “potential future Polar Bearcat shifts”. All in all, when the games were over, the favorite wind down was to head back to campus, enjoy some of the famous local Latrobe Pizza from either the Hotel Loyal or Jioio’s and of course sip some Rolling Rock Beer or soft drinks as taste and age permitted!
Our apologies go to those of you whose names are missed from these pages. Please let us know who you are and we will gladly give you the credit you deserve! After all, some of us not only have age to contend with but one too many pucks in the head as well!
Some of the older players may also find additional photos on their own history page. For those of you we could remember, even if you did not play at the intercollegiate level for the team, we want to give you the credit you deserve for helping to keep the dream alive. For as of now, the Polar Bearcats are back in a big way at SVC!