Senior Represents U.S. in South American Hockey Tournament
Senior Evan Hoey represented the U.S. as part of an All-American team at an international roller hockey tournament in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in mid-November. The U.S. team finished second in the seven-team field, losing the championship game to the Brazil Senior Team in overtime.
Only 10 skaters and two goaltenders were selected for the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association All-American team, among hundreds of student-athletes across all five NCRHA divisions: 1, 2, 3, junior college, and AA. The 12 players met in Miami and then traveled together to the South American Inline Hockey Invitational in Brazil.
“It’s still surreal to me. It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Hoey, a senior Liberal Arts major, after his selection. “I didn’t have the roller experience that some of these guys had, playing three or four years with their college teams. I guess my ice accomplishments spoke for themselves.”
His ice accomplishments included three years of junior hockey and another three as a member of Neumann’s NCAA men’s ice hockey squad. A 25-year-old, 6’4” defenseman, Hoey joined the Knights roller hockey team this fall.
“I battled some injuries throughout my career, and the contact aspect of the ice game became too much for me,” he explained. “I stepped away but still wanted to play, and roller hockey was right there. It’s the best fit.”
Hoey’s assessment that he has “battled some injuries” greatly understates his medical history. He has had six shoulder surgeries. Despite his injury-riddled past, he loves the game and understands that roller hockey is not as physically punishing as its cousin on ice.
“It’s not easy being the new guy,” Hoey admits, “but this Neumann team has made me feel like I’ve been with them for four years.”
The NCRHA roster for the Brazil tournament included players from Grand Canyon University (4), UMass (2), Michigan State, Arizona State, Quinnipiac University, University of California Santa Barbara, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Neumann.
In addition to the NCRHA All-American team, national and national-caliber teams from Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina participated in the tournament, which was hosted by the Confederacao Brasileira de Hoquei e Patinacao (Brazilian Hockey and Skating Confederation).
Coach Lee Strofe is counting on Hoey and some returning stars from last year to help the Knights make the transition to Division 2 this year, when Neumann will face stiffer competition. As Division 3 national champions, the Knights finished their last season at 22-1. This year, in Division 2, their early record is 5-3.
Still, Neumann’s reputation as a roller hockey powerhouse is reflected in the Division 2 coaches’ pre-season poll. The top five teams in the country were Ohio State, Slippery Rock, Neumann, UMass, and Arizona.