Phil Rauch turns down ECHL offer, spends time playing video game instead

This post originally appeared in The Griffin Newspaper on May 6. Although the last issue of every year is the satirical “Mud Issue,” this article is based on actual events and contains real quotes, and is just pretty hilarious if you know the story. The Mud Issue does not go on The Griffin’s website (because everything else is made up) but this was too funny not to be online somewhere. Shout out to Griffs Hockey blog for help in reporting.

An exit from the Atlantic Hockey playoffs in the quarterfinal round was not the ideal finish for the Canisius hockey team, but on the bright side, they got to go golfing a lot sooner.

The photo caption read: "Phil Rauch... what a cutie. So what if he can't bury the biscuit. How can you say no to a face like that?"

Scott Moser and Cory Conacher were going golfing anyway. Moser doubles as a member of Canisius’ golf team and Conacher’s family owns a golf course in Canada. They get their fair share of swings.

The rest of the hockey team, however, being about as dastardly with the irons as they are with their hockey sticks, made the executive decision to stick to golf video games. Gone are the days of hitting the links after a workout, traded in for a couple hours alone with Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’11 and a few cold ones.

While fellow seniors Conacher and Vinny Scarsella went on to play hockey in the ECHL, Rauch said he turned down an opportunity from the Wheeling Nailers so he could finish out his degree.

Still, going to class isn’t exactly a top priority, so most of the players’ free time is spent trying to one-up each other in Xbox. They have Tiger Woods tournaments and even pass around a green jacket, just like the real Masters. Eric Rex is the latest player to claim the jacket, winning a two-hour match last Wednesday.

It was a lucky win, as Phil Rauch is usually one of the better hockey players at the video game. Or something like that. In any event, he’s the only one proud enough of winning to actually come to The Griffin with the story. Go hard or go home, right?

“If you guys want a front page story, I thought I’d fill you in and let you know I got a hole in one,” the senior captain told The Griffin via Twitter. “Augusta National hole 16… it was pretty amazing.”

Powered by the ace, Rauch says he ran away the victory in that match last week, shooting 9-under on just the back nine.

“It was something about the day, I just felt it,” he said. “It’s actually a really hard game.”

Rauch, a left-handed hockey player, plays as Tiger Woods in the video game, not Phil Mickelson, one of the few left-handed players in golf. Rex usually plays as Paul Casey.

There was some initial confusion to whether Rauch meant a video game or the real golf course in Augusta, Ga., but Moser quickly put those doubts to rest.

“I’ve never seen Phil pick up a golf club, let alone swing one,” he said. “I find it hard to believe he has any skills.

“Then again, he made a career out of putting pucks high and hard off the glass so he probably wouldn’t have a tough time getting the ball in the air. Judging by his career shooting percentage though (.000001 or something) I doubt accuracy would be anything to write home about.”

Rauch scored only one goal in his entire career at Canisius, but when he was fed Moser’s quote, he sat back in his seat and put his hand on his chin, stunned.

“Me?”

“Wow.”

“We’re going to have to have a talk with him.”

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