Rollin’ on up!


FAU’s Roller Hockey Club enjoyed a strong first season as a Division I team. The Owls won their regional division championship but failed to win the coveted national title. Here are some of the highlights from the season.


First period: Regional rush

The Owls roller hockey team can now claim two regional championships in as many years, going undefeated in the Southeast Division I competition this season while also winning the Southeast Regional Championship in Division II last year.

“Regionals was a really good atmosphere for us. I think we proved what we have,” said sophomore forward Greg Kneeves Jr. “Regionals was the best we played all year.”

The Southeast Regional Championship was held from Feb. 26 to 28 in Snellville, Ga., a city 15 minutes outside of Atlanta.

“Coming into regionals we had a pretty solid team. We came in confident — not cocky, but confident,” said forward Chris Capandonis. “After regionals, we thought we were going to come out pretty hot in nationals.”
For this only being their second year playing as a team, both players and coaches were proud of their regional accomplishments.

“They played hard — they really did — and we were proud. They played like champions,” said coach Steve Capandonis.

Second period: Nationals? Not this season

While the team came out strong in regionals, losing players Mike Thiefault and Brett Duncanson due to personal reasons right before the National Roller Hockey Competition in San Jose, Calif., from April 6 to 11 hurt both the morale and stamina of the team.

The team ended up traveling with only eight players plus a goalie, while most teams traveled with 12 to 14 players.

“It was a lot of fun. We didn’t win, but we did pretty good, though. There weren’t any blowout games,” said forward Brittany Johnson. “We killed until the end [of each game], then they just wore us out.”

In roller hockey players rotate in and out of the game as they get tired, so for FAU to enter nationals short-handed was a big disadvantage.”Instead of going out with a full squad, we only went out with eight and a goalie. That’s like losing your quarterback,” said Greg Kneeves Jr.

In the round robin before the finals round started, FAU faced North Texas, Arizona State University and Rhode Island before playing University of Central Florida in the quarterfinals round, where the Owls would ultimately fall.

“UCF is usually a great match-up for us, but we just couldn’t pull it off,” said Steve Capandonis. “For a team that’s accustomed to winning, and winning a lot, it’s frustrating.”

Third period: Coming soon

With two regional championships under their belt, the team is now focusing on the elusive national title for next season.

“We’ll be focusing on having better commitment and setting goals for the team,” said Chris Capandonis.

Next season the Owls will be getting a new goalie from New York. The team is also looking to tighten up their teamwork and prepare to come out even stronger in the quest for a national championship.

“We’re gong to rebuild for next season,” said Steve Capandonis.

Are you interested in joining FAU’s roller hockey team? The team is holding tryouts right before the fall semester starts. For more information, call coach Steve Capandonis at (954) 263-1185.