Knights Win National Championship in Roller Hockey

Knights Win National Championship in Roller Hockey

The Neumann Knights are the 2015 kings of roller hockey. The club defeated archrival Lindenwood University, 4-3, in Independence, Missouri, on April 11 to capture the crown.

 

After splitting a pair of games with the Lions during the season (Neumann's only loss in a dominant 2014-15), the Knights never trailed in the championship match. In  a tightly played game, Neumann led 2-1 after the first period and 3-2 after two. Anthony Ehinger scored what proved to be the winning goal with an assist from Ed Jones at 6:26 of the third period.

 

Ehinger, Nick Allison and Tyler Kraft each notched a goal and an assist in the title match. PJ DiMartino ignited the scoring with the first of two successful power play goals by the Knights at 3:04 of the first period.

 

In the two Final Four games, including a 7-1 blowout of Cal Poly in the semi-finals, Ehinger notched two goals and three assists, Allison three and one, and Kraft two and two.

 

The National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA) invited 24 teams to participate in the tournament (out of 175 member clubs nationwide). In early matches, played on April 8 and 9 for seeding, the Knights beat the University of Colorado, 5-0; UNLV, 3-2; and Cal Poly, 9-0.

 

With the field narrowed to 16 clubs for the single-elimination tourney, Neumann drubbbed Rowan University, 11-1, and the University of Missouri at St. Louis, 10-1, to reach the Final Four. In their four tournament games, the Knights outscored their opponents 32-6. Mike Maczynski was outstanding in goal for the club, turning away scores of shots in a sport known for its fast pace and high scoring.

 

Neumann has a high profile in roller hockey, having won Division II titles in 2006 and 2008 before moving up to Division I. The 2015 championship is Neumann's first Division I title.


4/12/15

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