Opening Face Off This Weekend!ECRHA October 8th, 2019 at 6:54AM October 8th, 2019 11:55AM
It might only be pre-season, but Columbus Day Weekend signifies the start of road trips, Wawa stops and early morning games for the upcoming 2019-2020 ECRHA season. Players and teams across the league can agree that this weekend is circled on the calendar once the previous season ends, no matter the results.
Before pre-season hockey in Feasterville begins, some teams have prepared themselves for this season by taking part in the annual “Hockey is Hockey” event over the summer. This all day event in East Meadow, New York featured Stony Brook University, St. Joseph’s College, Farmingdale State and Montclair State. These clubs went through team building exercises, combine training and exhibition games to get ready for the upcoming season. Montclair team President Garret Negron got the opportunity to play with his team against Farmingdale and stated that, “It’s great our players got to train with Farmingdale and get ready for what talent the ECRHA has to offer.”
Speaking of Montclair State, they are the only brand new school to the ECRHA this season. The Red Hawks find themselves in a crowded Division 3 that consists of 16 teams. Although this is Montclair’s first season, Negron expressed confidence in an email regarding expectations this season. “This may be our inaugural ECRHA season, but I think the Red Hawks are gonna roll through teams that take us lightly,” he said. Out of those 16 teams in D3, nine of them made the National Championships last season. Montclair will only add to the intense competition D3 is guaranteed to provide this season and have some outside experience to help their case. “Our coach and club officers spent the past year playing tournaments like TCS and State Wars, as well as recruiting players and building a social media presence,” he explained. Negron continued by mentioning, “We scrimmaged Yeshiva a few times the past year and also scrimmaged Hofstra at the beginning of the summer.” Montclair will matchup with Temple and Syracuse, who both made Nationals last season and will close their pre-season slate against Neumann. The Knights have dropped to D3 following a winless season in Division 2 and failing to make the playoffs for the first time in their history.
Despite making it to the Elite 8 at the D2 National Championships last season, Cortland is also dropping down to D3. The Red Dragons will face Syracuse, Hofstra and Drexel, who all went to Nationals in D3 last season. On Saturday, Robert Morris will likely be playing with a chip on their shoulder as they take on West Chester and Northeastern. The Colonials lost to both teams at regionals last season and resulted in them being eliminated. UMass may have won the D2 Regional Championship last season, but they will be facing off against Division 1 Farmingdale and Slippery Rock this weekend. The Minutemen were one goal away from defeating Slippery Rock last season.
Back in March of 2018, the entire league was on edge watching the Northeastern Huskies and RIT Tigers battle it out for a spot in the D2 Regional Championship Game. The 4OT marathon turned out to be the longest game in ECRHA History and resulted in the Huskies beating the Tigers in that Regional Championship game. However, RIT got their revenge by defeating Northeastern in the National Championship game a month later. Since their matchup at Nationals, these two teams have embodied the spirit of competitive college roller hockey. Last season, both games these teams played went to overtime with each team winning a game. These two clubs are sure to headline the action on Sunday morning and maybe give us a preview of Best Rivalry in the ECRHA this season.
Photo Credit: Hockey Is Hockey on Facebook.
(Top)- Farmingdale State and Montclair State
(Bottom)- Stony Brook University and St. Joseph’s College