Lindenwood University 2014 Inline Hockey Division I National Champions!
By Nick Robone
The Neumann University Knights and Lindenwood Lions were ranked one and two for the majority of the year with only Michigan State creeping up on their heels. Therefore, it was only fitting these two powerhouse programs met in this year’s Division One final. Now, normally Lindenwood is the team with the largest fan base at the NCRHA nationals however, this year was different. With the IceWorks Sports Complex being located only a couple miles from Neumann’s campus, they brought fans, and lots of them. It was standing room only for this one and of the couple hundred people there 75% were wearing NU blue and yellow, cheering on the hometown team. It was rowdy, to say the least. Before the puck even dropped you could hear Neumann’s fans chanting, “this our house” from nearly half a block away as they poured into the bleachers. With both teams having gone undefeated in preliminary play and only surrendering 9 goals total in those contests, it was set up to be a classic and this one did not disappoint.
This was a real chess match early. Each team would have a few opportunities but the majority of the first period was puck possession and defense, with neither team having an edge on the other. Starting goalies, Mike Maczynski and Brett Humes brushed away any low key scoring chances but, the speed of this game was fast, extremely fast. With many of these players having played high levels of roller hockey it was no surprise these two teams had easily the most skill in the tournament and it was just a matter of time till someone found the back of the net.