The Lima Effect
By: Taylor Hill
Middle Tennessee State University’s Yuli Lima is a game changing player that could assist the team this weekend as they battle Clemson University for a spot in the D2 Playoffs this season.
“I always tell the boys there is a difference between guys that play hockey and hockey players. Yuli is definitely a hockey player,” said Head Coach, James Murray.
This weekend, February 9 and 10, MTSU has the chance to win two games and secure a spot in the playoffs. With both teams putting up similar performances this season, fans can look forward to an exciting series of games.
MTSU has played 22 games this season, with nine wins, 10 losses and three ties, coming out with an impressive record compared to their previous year with only 5 wins. MTSU is not only looking to find a spot in the conference playoffs, but also look to clinch the seed for nationals which would be a first for the program.
Lima, a graduate student who grew up in Huntsville Alabama, and later moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, previously played for Trine University.
“He was able to put up a point per game at Trine,” said Murray
Photo credit: @jde.visions
Murray says the team’s on and off ice communication helps improve their game as a team. With Lima, Coach Murray believes the team has added some skill and diversity to their game through experience and professionalism.
Lima began as a forward but was then moved to the defensive end while still being able to make offensive plays.
“He is still able to generate offense, whether that's shots from the point or his ability to rush the puck,” said Murray.
Lima’s ability to go to anyone with feedback has impacted the team like never before.
“Only being a few years younger than me, he is able to approach me with feedback necessary to make our team better” Murray says.
Lima feels as though his experience gives him a sense of leadership that is humbled by the talent surrounding him. The unique roster meshes well together, giving the ability to work great as a team.
Although he is still getting to know the team, Lima says his sense of professionalism has allowed him to become a reliable person for the team.
“My hope for Yuli in our upcoming games is to take care of the puck and play lockdown defense. Discipline when it comes to positioning in the defensive zone will be crucial. Yuli has the ability to be a one man breakout,” said Murray.
Fans can look forward to an exciting weekend series with a playoff spot and a bid to nationals on the line.
ABOUT College Hockey South: Founded in 2008, College Hockey South is a 29-school, 46 team intercollegiate hockey conference spanning seven southeastern U.S. states that competes in AAU College Hockey. College Hockey South is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization.