The Sharks may be the most-popular hockey team in the Bay Area, but Sparty can also pack a punch on the ice. For 19 years, San Jose State has fielded a club team to little fanfare.
"That kind of upsets us because we put a lot of work into this program, and it's just as competitive as an NCAA sport," says SJSU Senior wing Mickey Rhodes.
The Spartans are not NCAA sanctioned. Instead, they compete in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, and this season advanced to the Division II national tournament for the ninth time in 15 years.
"The final game there in regional's, we scored a goal in overtime to send ourselves to nationals. That was about a $15,000 to $20,000 goal," says head coach Ron Glasow.
That is because the team only gets $10,000 from the university budget, so each player has to put up $4,000 of their own money each season. Now they still need to raise about $10,000 to compete in the playoffs.
"We're all college students, and we're all trying to pull this together on our own," says player Steven Stichler.
The Spartans travel to Connecticut for next week's national championship, where they have never advanced out of pool play.
"Our chances of winning the whole thing historically haven't been very good, but we feel really good about this team this year. We've won 12 straight games," says team captain Andy Dickerson.
This team is loaded with Bay Area kids who are dedicated to the sport.
"We absolutely love every minute of what we do, and I don't think there's any one place our players rather be than out on the rink," says Dickerson.
If you want to help out with a donation, click on the SJSU hockey donation page.