NCRHA National Championship - Friday RecapApril 21st, 2023 at 11:00PM April 22nd, 2023 5:10PM
Day Three of the 2023 National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships began with AA Division pool play as well as Division II and III first round playoff matchups.
AA Division teams played their 2nd and 3rd round robin games, and it was Lindenwood and Farmingdale both going 3-0 to take the #1 seed in their pools heading into the brackets. Arizona State and Slippery Rock AA teams finished 2nd in each pool. Seedings were not determined until the last game of the round robin play, and took extra time as well, with UMass defeating Michigan State 5-4 in a shootout in the final round robin game of the AA Division.
In Division III, first round playoff games spanned the morning and into the afternoon. Cal Poly Pomona, Maryville, Yeshiva and Quinnipiac advanced out of those games and will play on Saturday morning. The Cal Poly Pomona vs. Rhode Island game was a barn burner, with 21 goals overall, Cal Poly Pomona winning 11-10 in overtime on a goal from Matthew Augustine, his 3rd goal of the game. One other notable games was the 2:00pm game between Yeshiva and Colorado. It couldn’t be more different than the CPP/URI game, finishing with a 3-2 Yeshiva win against a strong Colorado squad. Yonah Suissa was awarded the ceremonial viking helmet for the game-winning goal, scored just 19 seconds before the final buzzer.
Division II featured all teams, with first round games followed by quarterfinals in the late afternoon/early evening. Robert Morris led Pool C with 4 wins and did not disappoint in their 2 bracket games, defeating Temple 4-2 and then defeating Cortland 8-6 in their quarterfinal game. Also advancing to the semifinals are UMass (via 9-5 win over Northeastern), Ohio State (via 4-1 win over CSU Fullerton), and Endicott (via 3-2 win over University of Arizona). It’s difficult to say any of these games were an upset, but the Endicott 3-2 win over U of A was a huge win for Endicott after finishing 3rd in Pool C round robin play. After a scoreless 1st period and going down 1-0 in the 2nd, Endicott scored 3 goals to U of A’s 1 in the 3rd period, for the 3-2 win. Justin Stergos was the lone Endicott scorer, getting the hat trick with 1:24 remaining in the game for the win.
Division I teams completed their round robin play mid-day, and then all 8 teams played their quarterfinal matchups in the evening. Slippery Rock defeated Farmingdale 8-4, Arizona State defeated Grand Canyon 3-2, Lindenwood defeated Henry Ford 7-2, and Bethel defeated Rowan 8-3. Slippery Rock was ahead 3-0 at the end of the 1st, 5-1 at the end of the 2nd, before the teams traded 3 goals apiece in the 3rd. Nicholas LaBianca and Ian Edwards led Slippery Rock scorers with 3 goals and 1 assist each. Arizona State scored their 1st goal against Grand Canyon with 50 seconds remaining in the 1st period, followed by a 2nd period where the teams traded goals. Grand Canyon would tie it up midway through the 3rd period on a goal from Ruben Gonzalez. 4+ minutes of chances for both sides went by before Arizona State went on the power play. ASU’s Matt Cornish scored his 2nd goal of the game on the power play for the 3-2 win. Lindenwood came out hard, as expected, against Henry Ford, taking a 2-1 lead into the 1st intermission. They would add 3 goals to Henry Ford’s 1 in the 2nd, making it 5-2 heading into the 3rd. 2 more Lindenwood goals sealed the win, with Jackson Wozniak scoring 3 goals in the game, Brycon Haney-Johnson with 2, and Parker Winkelmann and Sean Maude with 1 goal each, for the 7-2 win. In the final I quarterfinal, Bethel faced Rowan, and it was a 4 goal Bethel 1st period that set the tone for the game. Rowan did not go down without a fight, outscoring Bethel 3-2 in the 2nd period. In the end a short Rowan bench and excellent Bethel execution sent the Wildcats to the semis with an 8-3 win. Bethel’s Ryan Ro scored 4 goals in the game, while Jason Santoriello had 4 assists. On Saturday, Lindenwood and Arizona State will face off at 11:15am in the first semifinal game, followed by Bethel and Slippery Rock at 12:30pm.