Roller hockey battles Neumann in overtime

By Laura Van De Pette
October 21, 2004

Fierce slap shots and constant body checking into the roller hockey rink’s boards at Marple Sports Arena were just part of the intense game the Cavaliers offered their fans on Sunday, Oct. 17. Despite their efforts the Cavaliers lost 5-4 in a nerve-racking overtime.

Although most students would refuse to peel themselves from the Eagles game, the bleachers were still packed with hockey crazed fans from Cabrini and a few from their opponent, Neuman College.

The Eagles game took a backseat as the Cavaliers rushed the rink hopeful to win the second game of their season.

Before taking his place behind the boards with the rest of the Cavaliers, first-year-coach, Nick Voight, said, “These guys are still kids, but they’re good kids. I don’t know what they do on campus but when they come here on Sunday, they’re good. They come to win.”

The Cabrini Cavaliers and the Neuman Knights took their positions on the rink and the intensity level instantly escalated into high-gear. With seven minutes left to play in the first period the Cavaliers started a scoring rally when freshman, Joe Zullo slammed the puck into Neuman’s net. Only two minutes later Zullo returned to scoring position and scored again ending the period with a 2-0 lead. With two goals under Zullo’s belt one fan said, “He’s real good for a freshman, real good. A hat trick would be sweet for him.”

While fans wondered if Cabrini could keep the lead the second period began and the Knights scored reminding the Cavaliers that Neuman was still a driving force in the game. With both teams hungry for another goal, Zullo scored again with 10 minutes left in the second period but the referee did not call the goal as he could not clearly see the play. Fuming Cabrini fans yelled in disagreement. Neuman scored a minute later frustrating the men but Mike Egan responded with a follow-up goal two minutes later that gave the Cavaliers a 3-2 lead.

The game took an unexpected turn when two Cabrini players were sent to the penalty box. With four Knights against two Cavaliers, a goal was inevitable. An offensive player scored from mid-rink to tie the game 3-3.

With the period coming to an end Zullo and a Neuman defensive player were pinned to the boards in an aggressive fight for possession. The Cavaliers had a few breakaways in the final minutes of the second period but the Knight’s strong defense prevailed.

Both teams were clearly more aggressive with several hard-hitting shots on goal in the first few minutes of the third period. After several failed breakaways senior, Rich DeMatteo and president of the roller hockey team scored with nine minutes left to play giving the Cavaliers a 4-3 lead.

While the Cavaliers and Knights continued to battle on the rink, fans were heard asking, “Are the Eagles still winning?” Although the Eagles were winning and the Cavaliers had a 4-3 lead with five minutes left in the game, the Knights were not ready to be disregarded. A perfect play set Neuman’s offensive players up for a shot that would slam the puck into the Cavalier’s net. Goalie, Steve Hughes could not get to it and the game was tied up again 4-4 with two minutes left to play.

The 4-4 tie at the end of the third period led the Cavaliers and Knights into an overtime crusade. Only six seconds into the overtime Neuman scored leaving the final score at 5-4. The Cavaliers skated off the rink in disbelief. Mike Egan, a business administration major, said, “They got a bounce on us and took it right to the net. We couldn’t stop them. They had us beat and they won because of it.”

Coming off of last Sunday’s 8-6 win over Lehigh University the team was in high spirits and had hopes of winning today. They shook their heads in exasperation and agreed they lost because of “stupid penalty calls that could have easily been avoided.”

Mike Stevens, a sports fitness management major and vice president of the team, said, “We didn’t play at the same level that we did last week, we just didn’t.”

Egan added, “We forgot to play defense and Steve suffered because of it.”

With regards to their goalie, Mike Stevens said, “Steve Hughes is hands-down the all-star of the today’s game.”

The Pennsylvania Collegiate Roller Hockey League plays every Sunday at the Marple Sports Arena in Broomall. It’s a 10 minute ride and offers an alternative to obsessing over the Eagles game.

The Cavaliers will play great Division I schools such as, St. Joe’s University and Temple University in the upcoming weeks. For the Cavalier’s schedule visit http://www.pcrhl.org.

Posted to the web by Jenna Nash

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Laura Van De Pette

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