By Chris Rydburg
OXFORD, Ohio - As the Miami hockey team travels to Alaska for its matchup with the Nanooks this weekend, many members of The Brotherhood will be sporting their Movember mustaches for the last time this season.
Movember is an annual, month-long event in which thousands of men around the world grow mustaches in order to raise awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and other men's health issues. Senior Curtis McKenzie took the initiative last year in bringing the Movember tradition to the Miami locker room.
"Movember is a fun thing to do with all the guys and bring awareness to prostate cancer and help the cause with donations," McKenzie said. "Last year we found the Movember website. Matt Tomassoni, Connor Knapp, and I all partook in it last year. This year I asked if anyone wanted to and tried to see if I could spark some interest. There were a lot of takers this year, so there are a lot good mustaches going around."
Participation this year has doubled as almost half the roster is sporting the unmistakable Movember mustache. Many of the freshmen have donated their faces to the cause.
"I think the whole hockey community has taken it over," freshman Kevin Morris said. "I think a lot of us have had fun with it. Obviously it's a great cause and we are happy to be part of it. It's something we've embraced and had fun with it."
Last year the Movember organization raised an astonishing $126.3 million dollars for men's health. The charity looks to continue its efforts every year to bring awareness to prostate cancer, while using thousands of faces as free advertisement.
"I joined the effort because I thought it would raise awareness and get people thinking about health, which is an important thing to me," senior Marc Hagel said. "I think there are about seven or eight guys besides me to start this up at the start the month. McKenzie started an account on the Movember website, 'Mo Money, Mo Muzzies'. You can go there and donate money and help out."
The Brotherhood isn't the only hockey team participating in the event as many hockey teams around the world have pledged support to the cause.
"This has kind of become a tradition for a lot hockey players around the world," Morris said.
If you ask the team which player has the best mustache, all of them seem to agree.
"Alex Gacek has quite the mustache," McKenzie quipped. "It's phenomenal to say the least."
"Gacek has the best mustache by far. I am a distant second. I think Gacek's is getting caught in his food and his drinks," Hagel said with a laugh.
Although the mustaches are for a good cause, the guys admit that the facial hair isn't doing them any favors with the ladies.
"We're donating our good looks, we're putting them aside for the month," Hagel joked.
"Ah not so much," Morris said of compliments on his new look. "It's for a good cause. All of us are willing to bite the bullet for a month. To be honest, it's not too popular, but we still enjoy it and have fun with it."
While the facial hair may attract unwanted attention from the opposite gender, the guys said they will be thankful for it when they travel to frigid Alaska this weekend. McKenzie went so far as to call his mustache a "lip sweater."
It's not too late to get involved with the Movember madness. To learn more or contribute go to http://us.movember.com/ and click the donate tab. Fans can even donate money to Miami's Movember team by typing in "Mo Money, Mo Muzzies" into the search bar.
"I think it's a good, fun thing for the guys," McKenzie concluded. "A lot of them seem to like partaking in it. I definitely think the guys will keep doing it for the next few years here."