These days, many universities are teeming with emotional support animals. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst leads the pack. According to a recent article, at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, emotional support animals skyrocketed from five in the fall of 2015 to 118 two years later before dipping to the current 83. Among the Minutemen menagerie in that time are “Miniature pig, bearded dragons, geckos, rats, and birds,” according to university spokeswoman Mary Dettloff.
The need for emotional support extended to the hockey team this past fall when they added Revere, a pet alligator, to soothe the sting of last season’s finals loss to Minnesota-Duluth.
While the team has been missing sticks, pucks, and an assistant trainer, the experiment seems to be worth it for the Minutemen.
“We suffered two losses in quick succession,” said head coach Greg Carvel. “We lost the Frozen Four final and our Hobey Baker winner Cale Makar departed early to join the Avalanche.”
Captain forward Niko Hildenbrand added, “Revere goes out on the ice for practice with us – he’s like one of the guys. Our footwork has definitely picked up (with Revere).”
Puck drop between Denver and UMass-Amherst is scheduled for 7:07 Friday and Saturday nights at Magness Arena.