By Adam Stio – firstname.lastname@example.org
I can’t remember a time where I watched a game, and after, not really think of a moment that stood out. It was consistent, high caliber roller hockey for an entire game. Season-long consistency was Long Beach State, as they held off Cal Poly to become the 2011 Division 1 college roller hockey national champions. The third period was where most of the action was. You saw 5 of the games 7 goals there and a barrage of passionate effort on both sides. Both teams being from the WCRHL, they shared some moments of camaraderie. Every stoppage had players giving each other a pat on the head or shoulder. During the game though, it was all business. Features included some amazing saves on both sides. There were laser-like shots that were sniping corners. Just like their celebration after, there were no words that could describe it all. Just a great game and all were proud.
Ryan Burrows, the 49ers senior captain, led his team to an upset over Lindenwood in the semis. His super five goal effort single handedly beat Lindenwood 5-4 and punched their ticket to the big game. He won’t take credit though…”Everyone was fighting hard. I got a couple of lucky shots, but we did it together.” The championship game was something he had his eyes on from the time they started in the elimination bracket. Freshman goaltender Corey Jones, “…can’t thank (his) team enough,” as they rode him through the bracket. He put up some great numbers and had multiple 25+ save games to lead his team to the trophy. Forward Paul Anderson put up some great assists through the last two games. His key positioning on special teams and the 4 on 4 plays he made were another key to victory.
Coach Bill Burrows didn’t have much of a voice left when he addressed the team in the locker room after, “From the first day of practice we said our goal was to win a national championship and we reached our goal.”
Interesting Side note:
After upsetting Lindenwood, all anyone could say was ‘Miracle’. If you look at the situation here at the event, it’s an exciting parallel. Bob Suter was a member of the 1980 Miracle on Ice team and he is an owner here at the Capital Ice Arena where our event is taking place. Long Beach beats the number one team in the semi-final; the USA beat Russia, which no one expected. Then they win in dramatic fashion in the championship….again, interesting
Other great championship quotes:
Coach Burrows – “I was lucky to coach such a great group of guys. I want to thank the NCRHA, it was a great tournament. Wow, I don’t know what else to say.”
Goaltender Corey Jones – “…we had plenty of rest, now, pretty sick!!”
Captain Ryan Burrows – “We put a ton of effort in…Coach Bill worked us hard, told us what we needed to do, it worked, we took the cup, were stoked!!”
Forward Paul Andersen – “It was heart wrenching…but just great for a big ‘W’.”