Rolling on through

Alyssa Cutter

FAU is still feeling the effects of a peculiar decision by two former players.

Near the end of last season, two top players decided to quit the club without warning, effectively crushing FAU’s hopes of winning the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association’s national title for Division I.

This season, the team not only has to fill the spots of players who graduated, but also the vacant spots left by the mysterious decisions of former players Mike Thiefault and Brett Duncanson.

“I haven’t talked to them since, but it was just like they backed out for no apparent reason,” said club president and team captain Greg Kneeves. “It was very unexpected, but they did what they did.”

Of the 11 players from last year’s squad, only four have returned for this season. According to Kneeves, training seven brand-new players is going to be a challenge.

“I don’t think the skill level is there,” said Kneeves. “Even if we gave all the freshmen steroids and hockey clinics every weekend, I don’t think we’d have the same talent as last year.”

Despite the young team, FAU still hopes to do well against rivals like North Carolina State and the University of Central Florida.

Last year, the club beat UCF three times during regionals, first in the round robin, then in two straight matches in a three-game series. While the Owls’ chances of repeating the feat are slim due to the youthful squad it boasts, the team still plans to have fun.

“Our goal for this year was to not take it too seriously and have more fun,” said junior forward Chris Capandonis. “The last couple seasons, we’ve taken it pretty serious and the level of fun has not been up to what we want to have.”

Some of the veteran players on the team have another reason for wanting to enjoy this season. Even though none of them are seniors, this may be their last year playing roller hockey.

“Next year is our senior year, so we have to [focus] on school,” said junior defenseman David Siegel. “We definitely have to think about it, but there’s a chance that this could be our last year, so we’re trying to have a good time and enjoy it as much as we can.”

With the number of rookies on the squad, the Owls will have their work cut out for them as they try to win their way to regionals this year. But the plan is to keep improving.

“We can only get better with time,” said Kneeves. “Obviously nobody works well together the first time playing with each other. But hopefully after practices we’ll start to have a system and things should look better.”

 

Schedule

Oct 2nd-3rd  

10:00 AM

SECRHL Opening Event tournament

SGAA Dual Deck Hockey Arena & Pro Shop (Snellville, GA)

 

Oct 23rd-24th

8:00 AM

SECRHL Regular Season Event

Dream Sportscenter (Apex, NC)

 

Nov 13th-14th

8:00 AM

SECRHL Regular Season Event

Plex Indoor Sports (Columbia, SC)

 

Nov 13th-14th

8:00 AM

SECRHL Regular Season Event

Skateium (Ft. Myers, FL)

 

Jan 22nd-23rd

8:00 AM

SECRHL Regular Season Event

Palm Beach Skate Zone (Lake Worth, FL)

 

Jan 29th-30th

8:00 AM

SECRHL Regular Season Event

SGAA Dual Deck Hockey Arena & Pro Shop (Snellville, GA)

 

Feb 5th-6th

8:00 AM

SECRHL Regular Season Event

Skateium (Ft. Myers, FL)

 

Feb 12th-13th

8:00 AM

SECRHL Regular Season Event

Plex Indoor Sports (Columbia, SC)

 

Feb 19th-20th

8:00 AM

SECRHL Regular Season Event

The Box (Chantilly, VA)

 

Feb 26th-27th

8:00 AM

SECRHL Regional Championships

SGAA Dual Deck Hockey Arena & Pro Shop (Snellville,GA)