Roller Hockey Finishes Preseason with Overtime Losses

The Ramapo Roadrunners roller hockey team earned a win and two overtime losses at the Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association preseason weekend. The Roadrunners are playing this season in ECRHA Division IV, and played games against division rivals Temple, Kutztown and Shippensburg on Saturday.

After a convincing 7-2 victory against Temple to start the day, the Roadrunners dropped the next two games against Kutztown and Shippensburg 6-5 in overtime.

“I think the team played extremely well. We were missing a few key guys for preseason, but we were able to move the puck well and play very competitively against some good teams,” said senior and team captain Jeremy Higginson. “I’m excited to see what we can do with a full squad.”

Higginson led the Roadrunners in every statistical category in the team’s three preseason games. He scored eight goals and added three assists for 11 points in three games.

His goal and point totals led all players in Division IV during preseason weekend.

The Roadrunner’s regular season is scheduled to begin on Nov. 1 when they play Shippensburg in Old Bethpage, N.Y. Ramapo has a new-look roster after graduating nine seniors last season and will rely on a new core of players.

“We lost a lot of guys this year due to graduation, that is true. But we’ve also had a few great additions to this year’s team that include a couple of freshman and a few transfers.” Higginson said. “Along with some returning leaders, I believe we’ll be able to put together a very competitive team for the season opener.”

Among the players returning for this season are Higginson, seniors Mike Montalto and Dan Cohen, and juniors Cory Avon and goalie Eddie Skrzypek.

New faces on the roster include freshman Chris Jablonka and transfer students Chris Mecca, Matt Zakrzewski and Eric Kristensen.

Each new player was able to make a contribution in preseason weekend. Kristensen scored four goals and had an assist while Jablonka tallied three goals of his own over the three preseason games. Mecca had one goal and one assist and Zakrzewski had an assist on the weekend.

Returning players Avon and Cohen did not participate in the preseason weekend.

Aside from the season opener against Shippensburg, Ramapo will play three other games the weekend of Nov. 1 against Temple, Kutztown and Lock Haven.

Ramapo finished with the fourth best preseason record among the nine teams in their division. Syracuse and Shippensburg were the only teams with a 3-0 record at the end of the weekend while Kutztown was 2-1.

The other teams in Division IV this season include Lock Haven, Cornell, Loyola, Rutgers and Temple, who all finished below Ramapo in the preseason standings.

“Success is going to start at practice. I believe if we skate hard at practice, critique our mistakes and develop strong team chemistry, we will be able to turn some heads this season.” Higginson said. “There is definitely something special about this year’s team. Everyone shows up to play and has a winning mentality.”