Roller hockey advances to championship game

By Patrick Gallagher
April 27, 2010

Cabrini varsity sports often take a lot of the spotlight but Cabrini’s club teams find the same success on many occasions.

Cabrini club roller hockey has battled through the playoffs and is now in line to fight Rowan University for the Philadelphia Collegiate Roller Hockey League title crown.

Cabrini plays on Sunday at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and if needed at 9 p.m. The series is a best of three series that will determine the champion.

“This means absolutely everything. After losing in the championship last year, we wanted this. This means so much to the team, myself, and even previous Cabrini Hockey players.” Richie DeMatteo, coach and former player.

Cabrini ended the season with 11 wins and only four losses. This put them at 2nd in their tier and at a high seed heading to the playoffs.

“After a rocky first semester, we pulled it together and became a better, stronger, and smarter team each week in the second semester,” DeMatteo said.

The Cabrini squad has battled Saint Joes and West Chester so far in the playoffs and now faces the number one seed of the tournament, Rowan University. The Rowan Profs topped the league with a 14 and one record to give them the clear top seed.

“Facing the number one seed is definitely going to be a challenge. Rowan only lost one game up until now (against West Chester who we just beat) but we definitely have the talent to beat them,” captain Mike MacDonald said over email when asked about facing the number one seeded Profs.

MacDonald is true, for all who are looking into the statistics and numbers it is very true that the only team to beat the Profs are the last team that Cabrini beat, West Chester University.

“The biggest thing I’m looking for is shutting Rowan down defensively. We did that against West Chester and that caused the offensive opportunities that we were able to capitalize on,” MacDonald said.

This is very true, the key to any good hockey team is defense and Cabrini has a great defense squad with big players such as Mike Tuzio, Mike MacDonald, Mike MaCann and Patrick Gallagher.

The teams high scoring comes from a group of goal scorers that can’t be matched. Heading up the offense attack is Mike Holland, Bill Battista, Ben DeMatteo (Brother of coach DeMatteo), Brian Bell and Anthony Stola.

But no team would be complete without a pair of top-notch goaltenders.  Cabrini is lucky enough to have both Chris Snyder and Chris Orlando between the pipes.

The Cabrini squad is full of seniors who will be playing their last games for Cabrini on Sunday.

“This year we have a lot of seniors who, us younger guys really want to bring home the championship for them,” Brain Bell sophomore, criminology major said.

“I am not surprised that Cabrini has made it to the championship. They had their good and bad games, but for the most part they played really well this season,” devoted fan, Francesca Cinquino junior accounting major.

“Everyone should go out and support the team because these boys have worked really hard this season,” Cinquino said.

“The biggest thing is that the guys are playing for each other. No one wants to let down the guy next to them. We are a close group, and when we play together, we are confident that no one can beat us,” Coach DeMatteo said.

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Patrick Gallagher

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