Division II kicked off the 2011 Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships. Denver and Western Michigan started things off on the Mission rink at the Capitol Ice Arena. The Pioneers had a short bench and still had the right stuff. They scored the first victory of the event 11-3 over Western Michigan. I had a chance to speak with the whole team, didn’t take long…Alex Payne did most of the talking as he also practice what he preached with 5 points. The Pioneers are staying at a local house as forward Steve Kaschinske actually lives 5 minutes away in downtown Middleton.
Slippery Rock out of the ECRHA took down California 10-5 but had some setbacks. The coaching staff was pleased with the overall effort from the Pride. Forward Sean Simpson “…had a lot of fun” in the opening game and stated that,”The team needs to keep playing their system,” in order to keep winning.
Missouri S&T went back and forth with USC and pulled out a tie with 8.8 seconds to go. The coaching staff held a practice yesterday to give the team the legs they haven’t had at previous starts to events. Everyone felt it was to their benefit and are looking for better things to come tomorrow.
In Division I action things got started off with a bang. Games on both rinks started the pace off fast. Most teams were commenting on how the floor and boards make the puck move. Lindenwood had some adversity early on in their game, but as everyone knows…don’t count them out. The eventually topped Central Michigan by a few.
Michigan State came to town after another impressive season. The Spartans won their opening game. Senior Captain Jim Goodliffe said “This is my last year and I’m really excited about it.” Defender Mike Rossomando had a great game as well and felt confident in his teammates that their back line will be tough to break down.
The University of Connecticut “…didn’t have a Kemba Walker on their roster,” according to head coach Dan DaSilva. “They hope to follow in the footsteps of the basketball team though.” Goaltender Zack Back feels the team is playing more confident in front of him. Having a player like Tyler DaSilva up front putting in 5 goals in a game isn’t too bad either.