December 22, 2011; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte 49ers mascot Norm performs before the game against the Miami Hurricanes at the Halton Arena at UNCC. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Niner NotePAD: Charlotte 49ers club roller hockey skating to playoffs

Did you know UNC Charlotte have a Men’s Roller Hockey team through Recreational Services at UNC Charlotte? I didn’t. I knew about men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, etc., but this is the first time I heard the school had roller hockey. Well, they are going to the playoffs on April 10.

Club teams get very little money from the school, and have to pay most of their own way.  They are asking for donations at:

UNC Charlotte Roller Hockey plays in the SouthEastern Collegiate Roller Hockey League (SECRHL.)  They finished 3rd in their conference, and made it to the semi-finals of the league tournament. The 49ers, who are in Division II, are currently 13-2-1.  The SECRHL competes in the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA).

The NCRHA national tournament will be in Fort Myers, Florida–the home of NCAA Cinderella FGCU (Florida Gulf Coast University).  It is the 15th Annual national championship.  Charlotte’s first game is versus Cortland State (15-1-2) on April 10 at 10 a.m.

The 49ers just restarted their program last year, and are in the same position as FGCU, who is in the NCAA March Madness in their 2nd year of eligibility.  Let’s make some Madness of our own!

Last year the 49ers roller hockey team didn’t even have a coach and had to drive to Greensboro for practice.  This year, they have former pro roller hockey player Keith DePrima as their coach.  DePrima owns Breakaway Sports near the University where the team practices and plays, a vast improvement over last year’s situation.

The leading scorer for the 49ers is 23-year-old Senior, Kevin Cochrane, with 23 goals.  Jason Eagan, a 24-year-old junior, leads the team in assists with 22.

To those of you who grew up in ACC country, and want to stick it to the ACC anytime you can, Charlotte is 8-1 vs. the ACC (beating NC State 7-4 while losing 6-5; beating Virginia Tech 7-2, 8-5, 5-4, and 5-1; and Florida State by scores of 6-2, 9-5, and 5-2). They are also 3-1 vs. the SEC–losing to to Florida 8-5 while beating South Carolina 8-0 and Tennessee 18-2 and 14-3.

Last year in their first year, the 49ers went 10-3-3.  Even more remarkable, they made the fourth Round as a rookie team.  They beat Colorado-Colorado Springs 7-3, Cal-Irvine 6-3, and Western Michigan 11-7 before losing to Cal-Santa Cruz 6-1.  Damn Banana Slugs!

They came close to a national title.  In Rec Services, the university has national titles in fishing, flag football, and co-ed flag football; the cheerleaders and Gold Dusters in the athletic department have claimed titles of their own.  Roller Hockey almost pulled it off last year.  And this year they have a coach to guide them and a local practice rink.

UNCC has numerous other sports in Recreational Services as well, such as equestrian, kung fu, water skiing, fencing, belly dancing, disc golf, archery, paintball, laser tag, jiu jitsu, etc.  If you are a student, you should check it out.

Tags: Charlotte 49ers UNCC

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