At Eastern Michigan University, it is easy for a club team to be overshadowed by a bigger, more popular team like the football or basketball team. EMU’s club roller hockey team is a hidden gem within the EMU athletic and intramural sporting community, but not many people know about it.
“We were ranked fourth in the nation during last year, and finished seventh after being eliminated during the elite eight,” EMU senior and team member Mitchell MacLeod said. “We’re a pretty dominant team, and last year we defeated some of the top teams and people took notice.”
The team is poised to make its mark in the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association after finishing 20-12-2 last season.
“Overall we were 20-12-2; the top team was Michigan State and we beat them twice,” MacLeod said. “We’re very rangy on the skill level on our team. Things can range from having pro players join our team to having a tryout for someone with just interest in the sport.”
The club is a part of the Midwest Collegiate Roller Hockey League and finished second in its division.
“We play within one of the toughest divisions,” said MacLeod. “We have Michigan State University, Michigan, Ohio State, Central Michigan and Grand Valley State University. We’re pretty respected within the league, and we’re really looking forward to this year.”
While the idea of wins and losses summarize the big picture for athletes, this team’s performance in its league is not put into full perspective. One figure to capture EMU’s current success within the NCRHA is the league leaders category, a statistic that captures EMU’s success rate in its entirety.
Three of EMU’s players sit in the top five margin of league leaders in goals, assists and points, while having seven players rank within the top ten of those categories, the potential of this team remains high, despite only having a roster of 13 players.
MacLeod acknowledges that a new, better recruitment class is necessary for the team to survive.
“We haven’t had a full team since I’ve been here, so we’re always looking for new players and that’ll be very nice to see some new recruits,” MacLeod said. “We want anyone interested in playing. We have tryouts coming on the 20th and we evaluate from there.”
Earning a top four finish in the last ten seasons and a national title in 2001, EMU has not lost stride as it maintained a winning record each year since its championship run.
For those looking to attend an EMU roller hockey game, the locations might vary as the team’s practice facility is located in Novi.
Tryouts are scheduled for Sept. 20. Contact MacLeod at email@example.com for more details regarding the team.
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