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Roller Hockey Club provides off-ice alternative for fans of the sport

Justin Corbo, the Roller Hockey Club president and captain, at Nationals in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. COURTESY OF STONY BROOK ROLLER HOCKEY CLUB.
Justin Corbo, the Roller Hockey Club president and captain, at Nationals in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. COURTESY OF STONY BROOK ROLLER HOCKEY CLUB.

The Stony Brook Roller Hockey club proves that the thrills of fast-paced hockey action do not need ice.

It’s just a good time with good guys,” Josh “Bleeb” Oventhal, the treasurer of the club and a senior, said.

Justin Corbo, the captain and president of the club and a senior, encourages everyone to join the club, but playing time is decided by the team’s hired coach, former goalie Daniel Snyder. 

“Anybody’s invited to come down and practice, come play with us, learn the game,” Corbo said. “Playing time isn’t guaranteed because we are a competitive sports team.”

The club’s late-night practices — Tuesday at 11 p.m. and Wednesday at midnight — are all about fun, Oventhal said.

“We want bodies,” Oventhal said. “Come down to practice. Have a good time, and we enjoy it. As long as you’re having fun, we’re having fun.”

After two wins and a forfeit over the Feb. 17 weekend, the club faced off against Yeshiva University in their final game at the Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association All-Star Event for the regular season Division II title. With a score of 4-3, they took home the gold with a season record of 16-2.

We clinched the 1st seed in the regional playoffs [and] a spot at the national championships in April,” Corbo said in an email.

Corbo said that many players come from the ice hockey team, usually if they don’t get enough playing time or if they can’t keep up with the commitment. However, roller is a different sport.

“There is no rule that says you can check,” Corbo said. “So there’s body contact, like there’s physical play, but we can’t hit people like in ice hockey. It’s more of — I call it an art form.”

James Loglisci — the vice president, a former ice hockey player and a senior — said one of the hardest transitions, besides learning how to not check, was stopping.

“Stopping is completely different than ice,” Loglisci said. “In roller, it’s a controlled slide.”

Loglisci has played on ice since he was four. He had heard of the Stony Brook roller team but did not join until Long Beach junior hockey became too much of a time commitment.

“I always bashed roller hockey back when I was playing ice, but I have learned to love it,” Loglisci said. “It’s a pretty good sport.”

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