Brooklyn Boro

Believe it! Brooklyn College once had a hockey team.

January 30, 2023 Andy Furman
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Yes, there once was a hockey team in Brooklyn, it was in Brooklyn College to be exact.

Games were played in Coney Island’s Abe Stark Arena.

And there’s one man who can prove it: Jeff Lubin.

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“Brooklyn College hockey began in 1968 as a dream of a bunch of guys who traveled on Saturday mornings to a rink in West New York, New Jersey to play a sport that they loved,” Lubin wrote in an e-mail to the Brooklyn Eagle.

The club leaders had ambitious goals: to receive recognition and funding from the BC administration and student government, and then join a local college hockey league.

“Their persistence, and hard work was successful,” claimed Lubin, a member of that club. In fact, that club team entered the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey League in the 1970-71 season.

The leaders didn’t stop there, according to Lubin. “They sought another goal,” he said, “To obtain varsity status for the then club team.”

And, varsity status commenced with the 1971-72 season, thanks to the work of Charles Tobey, then the Brooklyn College Director of Athletics.

The Brooklyn College hockey team, who practiced at the Abe Stark Arena on Coney Island. Photo courtesy of Andy Furman

Those battles on ice lasted just five seasons BC dropped the great sport of ice hockey after the 1976-77 season.

So why the interest in Brooklyn College hockey some 46 years after its death?

The story isn’t as much about Brooklyn College, or their failed varsity hockey program.
This story centers around one Jeffrey Lubin.

And how he found the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

“I live in Edison, New Jersey,” he wrote in an e-mail, “Due West of Staten Island. Sheepshead Bay is my old neighborhood, I’m a grad of Sheepshead Bay High School and Brooklyn College.”

There’s more.

Here’s how Jeffrey Lubin found the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

It seems Lubin was listening to the Mets baseball broadcast on his car radio last September, when announcer Howie Rose mentioned that Howard Kellman was doing that evening’s Yankees game on WFAN Radio.

Kellman, like Lubin, is a Sheepshead Bay grad. Kellman has been doing play-by-play for the Indianapolis Indians Baseball Club over 50 years and did a rare fill-in for the Yankees late last season.

“I tuned in WFAN to hear Howard,” Lubin said. “Since then, I’ve been reading Howard’s twitter page, and noticed that on numerous tweets he referred to @AndyFurmanFSR. Thus, I began to read your twitter page.”

Lubin says he had a Brooklyn Today article – Brooklyn Today was a former weekly newspaper in the borough – in his BC Hockey Scrapbook and wondered if the writer back in November 1972 was the same as today’s Eagle writer.

The Brooklyn College hockey team, who practiced at the Abe Stark Arena on Coney Island. Photos courtesy of Andy Furman

“An internet search led me to you and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle,” he said, “I recently read your article about BC’s ’81-’82 Men’s Basketball Team, and about hockey teammate and fellow goalie and chess master, Elliott Weiss, I became determined to contact you at the Eagle and Howard (Kellman) about the BC hockey webpage.”

Lubin is aggressive and determined. He says for months he’s been trying to locate and inform people with an interest in BC hockey, including teammates, mangers, fans and media, about the webpage.

That 1971-72 season, BC became one of the top teams in the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Hockey League. “We won 11 games, lost three and tied two,” he said. “And the game against Nassau CC was a landmark. Our best of three playoff series with CCNY wet down to the wire. It was decided in sudden-death overtime.

“Unfortunately,” he said, “CCNY won.”

Brooklyn College hockey may be a thing of the past for many. Yet, for Jeff Lubin, its alive, and he lives it daily.
And thanks to him – so do you – at least for today.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter@AndyFurmanFSR.

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