2005-06 marked a turning point for the Gettysburg College Ice Hockey program. In years prior, Gettysburg played the minimum conference games, held few if any practices, and was generally a week-to-week club that could expect anywhere from 8-20 players to show up for games. Coach Esser's arrival behind the bench in 2004 had helped to better organize the team, but the transformation hadn't truly begun until the 2005-06 season.
A dedicated group of young players, combined with some extra funding and Coach Esser's organizational skills, gave the team a broader and more optimistic outlook. Extra opponents were added in addition to the team's MDCHA conference games. Although dues were increased slightly, the team was able to pay for extra games, practices, and a brand new set of white jerseys, Gettysburg's first ever "second" jersey. The team website was re-vamped and updated to provide parents, alumni, and fans a chance to follow the team online.
The youth movement was in full-swing, as only a few players remained who were older than sophomores. Senior captain forward Bill Jackson suffered an injury early in the year, and so captain duties were handled by junior forward Scott Kenner until going abroad in the spring. Jackson returned in time to re-assume his duties and center the "bruiser" line with junior McLean "Mac" Donnelly and freshman Alex Langhorne. Sophomores Jackson Ferguson and Ben Flint became assistant captains, and sophomore Luke Archambault paired with new freshman Phil Deyette to become a dangerous scoring threat. Sophomore goaltender Rich Sommerkorn settled in as the full-time starting goaltender after sharing the load the previous season.
Gettysburg had been bounced in the first round of the MDCHA playoffs the year before, and with their new and improved team they hoped to go deeper into the playoffs this time around. They would only get as far as the semifinals, however, where they ran into rival George Washington, who would go on to win the championship and leave the conference soon after.
Although their season still didn't end with a championship, Gettysburg made huge strides forward that would propel the team to greater heights soon after. It marked a true turning point in the program as players and coaches began to push the team to achieve more. A solid young core was in the place that was dedicated to the team and to each other, and the improvement would become apparent in the following years as Gettysburg moved forward.
Past Team Information by Year: