The Shippensburg University men’s roller hockey club put together a spectacular season in 2015-2016. The Raiders compete in Division IV of the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA).
The club, led by coach John Farabaugh, compiled an overall record of 12-7-1, including a regular season record of 7-4-1. That record was good enough to earn the club a playoff spot. The Raiders played four games in the postseason, going 2-2.
The Raiders started strong in the postseason, with a 10-0 thrashing of Rochester Institute of Technology before falling to Yeshiva University 8-1. The Raiders rebounded with an 8-5 victory over Niagara University before Millersville University defeated the Raiders 3-2 and ended their season. The Raiders finished third out of the six teams who made the playoffs, earning them a third-place finish in the division out of nine teams.
“It was a pretty good season, we made the playoffs and just fell a little bit short in the semifinals against Millersville,” senior forward Andrew Corchado said.
“Overall it was a pretty good year for a year we expected to be a rebuilding year, but we performed well and played well.”
“For me, the best games are the physical and up-tempo rivalry games,” SU goalie Tyler Cover said.
“Teams like Yeshiva and Millersville were my favorite to play this year. I am an aggressive goalie that loves to play with a bit of a physical edge and I play my best when mad.
“Those teams always found a way to try getting under my skin and it brought the best out of me. There is nothing better to make save after save on a player and constantly reminding him as the game goes on,” Cover said.
The Raiders played extremely well this season and Andrew Corchado led the way for the club, scoring 52 points, which led the NCRHA Division IV. Corchado scored 29 goals and racked up 23 assists.
“It was a good year. I can’t take all the credit; my teammates played really well and I just happened to perform very well,” Corchado said.
Bobby Neely was also extremely impressive for the Raiders, scoring 46 points, which was good for fourth-overall in Division IV. Neely scored 33 goals, which put him just behind Andrew Pursifull of the University of California Davis for the league lead. SU’s Bryan Lowe rounded out the scorers within the Top 10 of Division IV, finishing ninth with 33 points scored, including 17 goals.
The Raiders got a strong season out of Cover, as well. The senior goaltender picked up a career-high seven wins in goal for the Raiders. Cover made 251 saves on 317 attempts, registering a spectacular .792 save percentage last season.
“Some of the big things we focus on are effort and making good choices. If you’re not willing to leave it all out there and give everything you got every game, then stay on the bench. We strive to push it and never give up from puck drop until the sound of the buzzer,” Cover said.
“Also, making good choices is a major thing we focus on. That means not take stupid penalties and making smart passes and plays. Roller hockey is a waiting game and if we make one mistake, the other team is going to jump on it.”
Cover, a senior, also reflected on some of his favorite moments from playing roller hockey.
“Road trips are by far the best part of the season. Just getting in a car with 2-3 of your buddies all geared up, driving upwards of five hours is better than any vacation,” Cover said.
“I consider myself one of the clowns on the team and I’m always poking fun at the guys, so the car rides I am in involve us just ripping on each other or listening to comedy stations and occasionally T-swift or Justin Bieber stations on Pandora, no shame. The whole weekend is just a giant getaway with lots of laughs, hockey and coming closer together as a team,” Cover said.
The roller hockey club plays its home matches at the Susquehanna Sports Center in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania. The team is currently looking for players who would be interested in competing next year as a member of the team.