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Buffs show well at NCRHA national tournament J

By Adam Dunivan

im Steinberg hopes the University of Colorado’s showing at the recent National

Collegiate Roller Hockey Association national tournament amounts to a springboard for suc- cess within his program. For the rest of the Colorado squads at the

showcase, it was a tough go as teams from the East still seemed to dominate the field. Six teams from the state in three divisions

(Division I, Division II and B Division) made elimination play at the April 12-15 event in Salt Lake City, and it was the Buffs program that made the biggest impact. The A team, represented in Division II, won

its first game in elimination play while the B Division squad won a pair of games in its play- off bracket before falling in the semifinals. The run completed a breakthrough season for the CU teams. “We’ve got a program that’s seen a lot of develop-

The University of Colorado’s B team advanced to the semifinals in its division at last month’s NCRHA national tournament in Salt Lake City.

ment over the last two years, starting with the con- tinuity of the players that’s allowed me to employ a system that proved to be successful,” said Stein- berg, the A team’s coach. “We kept faithful to it. We stayed the course.” “To see the program grow like it has is just awe-

some,” said Evan Meredith, the team’s captain who also coached the B team. “We got Jim as our coach my junior year, and I think we just got into his systems and into the way he likes to do things this year.” After going 3-0 in pool play, the A team beat

Binghamton, 4-3, in the first round of the elimina- tion bracket thanks to goals from Meredith, Zach Raub, Kyle Logato and Colin Luben’s game- winner in the third period. They matched up with Northeastern in the next

round. A scoreless game until the 7:32 mark of the second period, the Buffs fell, 2-0. Goaltender Kyle Smith made 21 saves in the game. “This team was a cohesive group, and people had

roles they accepted to make the team better as a whole,” said Steinberg. Meredith said it was a pleasure to coach the B

team, which gained wins over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Michigan State, 5-4 and 5-3, respective-

ly, in the elimination round before falling by a 7-1 count to West Chester (Pennsylvania). “It’s the first year we’ve had a B team in

like four years, so for them to walk right in and win their division (in the regular season), win the regional tournament and then do as well as they did at nationals was awesome,” Meredith said. “It’s been a group effort all around.” Metro State also had a pair of teams com-

peting at nationals. The Division I team went 0-2-1 in pool play before a 7-3 loss to Central Florida in the first game of the elimination round. In that game, Bobby Derian scored two goals early in the third period to make it 5-3 before the Knights answered with a pair of goals to finish it off. In B Division play, the Roadrunners beat

St. Charles Community College, 5-3, in the playoff round as goaltenderDustin Moulton stopped 25 of 28 shots; however, they ran into

a streaking Lindenwood (Missouri) team in the next game, falling 7-0. For Colorado State’s Division I team and CU-

Colorado Springs’s Division II team, their first games of the elimination round proved to be a tough matchups. CSU fell 4-1 to Neumann (Pennsylva- nia), and the CUCS squad lost to Maryville (Mis- souri), 2-1, in a slugfest. Bethel University (Tennessee) won the D-I title,

followed by Central Michigan in D-II, St. Charles CC in Junior College and Lindenwood in the B Division. For more information on the NCRHA, visit Six schools crowned inaugural RMSIHL champions Continued from the opposite page

in a high-scoring, 7-5 final. Goals came from Good (two), Jacob Hamburg (two), Aus- tin Hunt, Shane Taylor and Tristan Walton. Nelson had 21 saves in that one, too. “We were mildly surprised at

how the young kids stepped up, and it was an interesting sea- son for us,” coach Phillip Hunt explained. “We had one of the biggest teams in the league (in terms of numbers), and it was difficult being able to give all of them proper playing time. “Every opportunity they had

(in the playoffs), they capital- ized on it. It was kind of neat to see everyone come together at the right time. They put in the work when they didn’t think it would benefit them, and it all worked out well for them.” A pair of middle school-level teams also

skated away with plaques after completing very solid seasons. Sierra scored a ton of goals during the regu-

lar season - 115 of them to be exact. It also didn’t allow many in finishing second behind Laredo. Both of Sierra’s losses during the sea- son came to Laredo, 8-3 and 7-4. But after winning the Gold division semifi-

The top seed in its division heading into the postseason, Eaglecrest captured the 5A junior varsity title at last month’s RMSIHL playoffs at RMR.

nal game by a score of 9-3 over Castle Rock - Taylor Beckham had five points (three goals) and Jacob Williams also scored three times in that one - the rematch was set against Lar- edo. The third time was the charm, with Sierra

winning by a 6-4 count to claim the title. Beck- ham scored four more goals, Sandy Wierzba added a goal and an assist, Jacob Williams had a goal and three assists and goaltender Logan Marchant-Mansfield had 28 saves. Mac Campbell had two goals for Laredo in what was its only loss on the season.

In the Silver division, Sum-

mit found even more success scoring goals in its two playoff contests. It finished 6-6 during the sea-

son and was outscored, 80-73. Its last game of the regular season even saw a 13-5 loss to Falcon Bluffs - a team that ended up 5- 8 on the year. But Summit caught fire in its

games against Mesa Black and Mesa Gold. Against Mesa Black, three different players recorded hat tricks -Max Engle, who was the team’s leading scorer, Dante Palomares and Ryan Whannel - and netminder Eric Casburn stopped all 12 shots he faced, giving Summit a 12-0 win. That set them up in the

championship against Mesa Gold, where the results were pretty similar. Engle found plenty of open space in front of the net, scoring seven goals, while Dylan Acker, Zachary Curran, Blake Pendry and Whannel also got in on the scoring act in an 11-3 triumph. All these teams now have something in com-

mon, and that’s trying to defend their titles next year as the RMSIHL begins to grow firm roots into the Colorado roller hockey scene. For more information on the RMSIHL, visit 17

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