BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Vinnie Susi said hockey is his first love. He grew up rooting for his hometown team the Pittsburgh Penguins every time they took the ice and he followed Sidney Crosby’s every move.
Now that he’s captain of the Battle Creek Rumble Bees and getting paid to play the sport he loves, it’s been a dream come true, he said.
However, the season hasn’t gone the way he expected it to, he said.
“It’s been an experience because it’s been a new program,” Susi said during an interview with FOX 17. “We got a lot of young players just getting into the league.”
The Rumble Bees opened the season on October 25 at The Rink in Battle Creek, becoming the city’s first professional hockey team in years.
However, the season has been tough, Susi said. They haven’t won a game so far. Their record is 0-22.
“It’s been a rocky start,” said General Manager and head coach Adam Stio. “We initially had another coach here. Things didn’t go so well.”
The original coach was let go in mid-November, Stio said. Team officials then moved Stio to head coach and he’s looking to turn things around.
“The good thing about the Federal Prospects Hockey League is they take four teams from each division out of five,” Stio said. “Realistically, if we win half of the remaining games, we got a shot at making the playoffs.”
Susi agreed. The season doesn't end until April and he hopes to give the fans something to cheer about soon.
“We haven’t won a game yet but you know we’re really working hard,” Susi said. “I think everybody has heart in them and that fight in them that we’re going to get a win here soon.”