Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Roller hockey club seeks national title

NATIONAL EXPANSION: Sigma Phi Beta, the gay-stratight allied fraternity founded at ASU, will initiate new members at Indian University making it the first successful expansion for the fraternity. (Photo by Annie Wechter)
NATIONAL EXPANSION: Sigma Phi Beta, the gay-stratight allied fraternity founded at ASU, will initiate new members at Indian University making it the first successful expansion for the fraternity. (Photo by Annie Wechter)

The ASU roller hockey team aims to attain a national championship this year after a tough defeat last spring in the collegiate national championship.

Last weekend, ASU’s nationally ranked roller hockey club took its first challenging step toward obtaining a national title after a trying four-game series tested the players’ strength and condition.

Although the team has played in previous tournaments, this year the weekend’s Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League tournament hosted stronger teams that prompted the ASU club to play harder than any other time this season, said team captain Alex Dodt, a journalism senior.

“It was a good step forward,” he said.

The team went 2-1-1 in the four-game series with wins over UNLV and UC Santa Barbara.

ASU (6-1-1) is ranked first place in the six-team West region and holds a second place national ranking out of seven regions.

After a tough defeat last spring in the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships, the team has had to improve on basic skills and playing strategies in hopes of achieving a first place national ranking this year, Dodt said.

The Division I team gained recognition at ASU in 2008 and was the first college team in the state. However, the team became an official sports club at the beginning of the current school year, Dodt said.

Despite only being an official sports team for a few months, the team has been successful at reaching the national championship tournament in the first two years of its existence.

Last year, the roller hockey team went 19-1 for the season and placed second at the national championship in San Jose, Calif., he said. Although the team achieved a high ranking, the results came up short in the team’s expectations.

“We want nothing more than to win this year,” Dodt said of the national championship. “Anything less will be a disappointment.

This past weekend’s results helped push the team further toward their national championship goal. Five of the six teams will compete at a regional tournament and one winner will move on to the national tournament.

The team practices once a week at the Barney Family Sports Complex in Queen Creek.

The team needs to work hard in practice, with a focus on strengthening its defense, in order to overcome the upcoming challenges and to get further to the national championship, said exercise and wellness senior Brian Ganz, a defensive player on the team.

“We need to capitalize on all our chances, “ Ganz said.

These chances exist on and off the rink and continue to push the players toward a national title.

Roller hockey is a more offensively focused game than ice hockey. Each roller hockey game has three, 12-minute periods. Opposed to five skaters in ice hockey, four skaters and one goalie are on the rink during play in roller hockey, and a team typically carries eight to 12 skaters and one to two goalies at a time.

The team has attracted a lot of interest from students across campus and all over the country. The team’s growth has forced it to split into two bodies — the 10-player Division I team and the junior varsity-like “B” team, which has 11 players.

Although the team continues to gain interest from national recruits and their success has gained them recognition in the sport, the team is continually pushing internal development as well as pushing funding efforts, Dodt said.

“Our biggest challenge this year, besides pushing for a national championship, is developing our younger, less experienced players, as many players are planning to graduate this year,” Dodt said. “Leadership is a big role the captains take on in the program.”

With upperclassman dominating these leadership positions, younger players must demonstrate their capabilities in order to achieve desired roles on the team.

“We have to work our way up the totem pole as freshmen, but I think captains on the team don’t necessarily have to lead on the scoreboard but rather lead by example on and off the rink,” said Mike Rivera, business law freshman and defensive player.

Earning playing time and performing while doing the little things, like making the right pass or slowing the puck down instead of doing it all alone, is what makes the difference on the rink, Rivera said.

“The room for mistakes is minimal,” he said in regard to the opportunities of making it to the national championship.

Rivera said a future challenge of the team is continuing and developing the tradition of roller hockey at ASU.

“If we attain the first national title this year, I aspire to uphold this ranking at least the next three years while I’m here,” Rivera said. “The goal is to make ASU a roller hockey powerhouse in the nation.”

Reach the reporter at

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.