The 2004-2005 season was the beginning of a new force in Gettysburg hockey. Up until this point, when asked on campus about the hockey team, the typical response would be 'Gettysburg has a hockey team?.'
Any good long-term program needs a solid base and the incoming freshman class in 2004 was just the foundation needed to really put Gettysburg hockey on the map. In addition to a solid freshman class was the arrival of a new coach. A recent graduate and former player himself, Eric Esser was approached about the position because as a new rule, students could no longer be a coach, which is where Gettysburg typically recruited someone for behind the bench. Coach Esser even played on the same time with some of the seniors on the team while he was at Gettysburg.
The new coach did not know what to expect but after a few games saw that his team definitely had potential. The schedule for the season was already set so coach Esser focused on the MDCHA games and wanted to build on the team's early success. The young Bullet team rolled in the first semester with a 6-2 overall record with only two one goal losses to MDCHA powerhouses George Washington and Loyola.
In addition to trying to build on the ice, Coach Esser put together the team's first website. In its infancy, it still was able to generate a great deal of interest from perspective students hoping to continue playing hockey in college.
The team still only had minimal funding. So this meant no practices to try to improve on their first semester run. The team would need to rely on raw talent in order to press forward. With the leadership of two seniors, David Berke and team captain and '05 valedictorian Walt Kowtoniuk, the Bullets pushed in to the Mason Dixon Conference playoffs.
The team Gettysburg would face in the first round was Salisbury University, a team they had beat twice already during the season. However, this appeared to be a different Salisbury team, almost literally. The Bullets put up a fight but lost the game 4-3 and were ousted out of the MDCHA playoffs. Salisbury went on to win the championship that season but it was determined later that they used illegal players during the playoffs. Despite not making it to the conference finals, Gettysburg made some great strides towards improving their program which would turn out to be the foundation of continued success.
Past Team Information by Year: