Hockey’s Shorthanded Season

Hockeys Shorthanded Season

The slap of the puck and the sound of the buzzers stopped, but the inline hockey team isn’t putting up its skates just yet. Joel LaRocca, president of the club inline hockey team, said the team finished its season Feb. 11 but is in the process of preparing for next year’s campaign.

LaRocca, junior accounting major, said this was his third year on the club team, but he has played hockey for 10 years.

“This year was kind of a rebuilding season for us,” LaRocca said. “We lost a few players this season and gained a few new ones, and we were trying to get the team back together again.”

The team’s record was 3-17, LaRocca said, but he thinks next season the team will have a better year because they will have more players.

Team captain Matt Ross said they usually start off the season with 14 players but once the tournaments start, the roster size drops down to eight to 10 players because it is too demanding to ask people to give up their weekends to travel to tournaments.

Some of the games are out of state, such as the tournament hosted by Top Shelf Sports in Lafayette, La. The Horned Frogs travel to different schools in Texas as well, Ross said.

LaRocca said the team is allotted $950 in the fall and $850 in the spring from the Student Government Association. He said the money is used to pay for hotels and league fees, while the players pay for food and gas while traveling.

Ross, a senior finance and accounting major, said he joined the team his freshman year after reading about it on the University Recreation Center Web site.

During the season, which starts in October and concludes in February, LaRocca said the team practices once a week at Breakaway Roller Hockey Center in Arlington.

Ross said he saw playing on the team as an extracurricular activity and didn’t feel it was necessary to have mandatory practices three times a week. He said they have fun and enjoy playing hockey. They welcome anyone that wants to join the team, experienced or not.

“All of the guys have a lot of fun together, we all come from different things, some are in fraternities and some are in band,” LaRocca said. “But, when we all come together, it doesn’t really matter because we all enjoy hockey.”

Mike Hackemack, Rec Center graduate assistant, said like any other club team, the hockey team has an extreme passion for its sport.

Both Ross and LaRocca said they started playing hockey in elementary school and have played both ice hockey and roller hockey.

Ross said the team will most likely start its spring league this semester to keep practicing and get to know the new players.