As a UVM student you are probably involved with a club in one way or another, be it a fraternity or a sorority, the Outing Club, the Ski and Snowboard Club, etc… But there’s one thing I highly doubt about your club: I would bet good money that you don’t have to drive 90-plus minutes to practice in Derby, Vermont. The UVM Club Roller Hockey team does, however, and they also had to travel to Ft. Collins, Colorado last year to compete in the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association Championships. For most clubs, this would be the culmination of a great year of competition and hard work. For the roller hockey team this is old hat. Last year’s championship run marked the team’s third consecutive trip to the national tournament. Any team that can consistently compete at this level must have a way of developing good chemistry, and it appears that roller hockey found that formula for success some time ago. It could be the three hour commute to and from practice. It could also be the 10 hour trips to places as far away as Pennsylvania just to find competition. Whatever it is, it’s working and seems to be carrying over into this season. Second year player and starting goalie Luke Brind’Amour thinks this year’s team could and should improve on last year’s ranking of 13th in the nation in Division II (there are three divisions based solely on team history and size of school). Already in the first poll of the year they’re ranked 19th out of 65 teams in the division. They are in the northeast region of the Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association with the like of the University of Maine, Wentworth, SUNY Albany, and Cornell. Throughout the year they will also play teams from UConn, Army, Stony Brook, as well as teams from Canada. Thus far they have 21 games scheduled for the year and will more than likely add a half dozen or so more. They have 5 away trips scheduled on the season, including trips to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Each trip usually involves four or five games to be played over two days. Brind’Amour conceded that the squad lost some quality players from last year, including leading scorer Bob “Juice” Markowick who transferred to Rutgers, and also lost seniors Ryan Sensale and Russ Buchanan to graduation. It appears, however, that this slack has been picked up by newcomers like Bryan Racher and Andrew Edward. The team is looking for leadership from key returnees like Mike “Mex” Fernandez, Tommy “The Franchise” Colgan, captain Matt Kennedy, and Brind’Amour who was an ECRHA conference all-star in goal last season. All told there are 13 players on the roster, which is down from last year, but Brind’Amour was quick to point out that a list is made of quality and not necessarily quantity. And if the season to date is going to be any indicator, the quality is definitely there. This year, the team’s main goal is place in the top 2 in their conference in order to receive an automatic bid to the national tournament which will be held this spring in St. Louis, Missouri. The general vibe is that this is a deep and talented group, one which has meshed quite well in a very short time, and is focused on reaching the tournament for the fourth straight year and solidifying their status as one of the most competitive clubs on campus. The roller hockey team sees their next action on November 5 in Connecticut. Anyone interested in joining or helping out the team should contact Luke Brind’Amour at [email protected] B To stay up to date with roller hockey’s progress throughout the year, check www.ncrha.org.