Friday, February 22, 2008
Former OU hockey player’s number retiredBy Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
As the Oakland University Men’s Club Hockey team prepares for the American Collegiate Hockey Association national tournament, there is one person who will be keeping tabs on the team’s progress. Will McMahon has been in this position before. An OU hockey player through last season, McMahon helped the team win three national championships, has been honored as the player of the year and named to the All-American team multiple years and was the national scoring leader in 2006 and 2007. For all of McMahon’s successes, the team honored him at the beginning of the season by retiring his number—the first time OU hockey has retired the number of any player.
“It was an easy decision to retire his number,” said OU Hockey head coach Sean Hogan. “He had broken every major scoring record at OU. His numbers and accomplishments speak for themselves.”
As part of the Grizzly team, McMahon helped the team win national championships in 2004, 2006 and 2007, which was the team’s first season in Division I. In addition, McMahon has been honored individually as the Division II National Player of the Year in 2004-06 and Division I National Player of the Year in 2007, First-Team All American in 2004-07, 2204-06 Central Regional MVP, 2004 National Championship MVP, First-Team All Tournament at the national championships in 2004 and 2006 and national scoring leader in 2006 and 2007.
McMahon said he was informed the team was having Will McMahon Night, but he didn’t know they were retiring his jersey.
“It was a great honor and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. My brother (Kyle, a current OU hockey player) was the one who actually handed over the jersey to me. That was something special, as was having my parents, sister, brother-in-law and my friends there with me,” McMahon said.
Last summer, McMahon was considering a jump to professional hockey. His college eligibility had ended and he still wanted to stay involved with the sport. However, after much consideration, McMahon has decided to take an accounting job instead. He still keeps up with OU’s club hockey team and goes to as many games as possible to support his brother.
“The team has had a great season so far, considering they have so many new faces on the bench. A team loaded with freshmen and sophomores tends to struggle at times, but overall, OU has been in every game,” McMahon said. “They’ve lost a few tough ones, but I’d chalk that up to youth. If they are firing on all cylinders coming into nationals, they could be a scary team to play against. I wouldn’t want to face them in the first round.”
McMahon said with the leadership of key players, the team could be very successful in the post-season.
“Winning national three out of the last four years, including Division I last year, we’ve really set the bar pretty high. I don’t want the new players to be intimidated, but there is a winning tradition here. You can’t show up at Oakland and play with anything less than your best effort. That’s what it takes to win, and I expect that out of this year’s squad,” McMahon said.
For more information on the team, visit the OU Men’s Club Hockey Team Web site. For more information on the team’s progress through the ACHA Division I national tournament, continue to watch The News at OU.