By: Aaron Szydlo  | 

Brand New Roller Hockey Team Begins Season With a Bang

As many of Yeshiva University’s sports teams begin or prepare to begin their seasons, a new team has been added to the athletics department: the roller hockey team. The team, co-founded by Amir Gavarin (Syms ‘17) and Avi Margulies (Syms ‘17), kicked off its season with a weekend tournament in Rhode Island, and is formally recognized as a club team, not as a team of the NCAA.

And they started with a bang! Playing three games back to back, the team dominated in their opening performance, beating the club team from Niagara 23-5. Next, they beat Cornell 8-1. Finally, they wrapped up their impressive performance with a 9-0 shutout against Rochester IT.

The team got its start when Gavarin and Margulies, two students who played hockey together in high school, took the initiative after hearing about a large yearning for a team. “We knew how many guys in YU were good, so we figured why not see if we could compete?” said Gavarin.

And they certainly proved they could. With their breakout performance they definitely proved this is a league they were destined to play in.

The team belongs to the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA). More specifically, Yeshiva University will be playing in the Eastern Conference Roller Hockey Association (ECRHA). Coached by a Yeshiva University alum, Elyashiv Gemara, the team hopes to make more headlines going forward. Yeshiva University finds itself in a tough conference, featuring schools such as Cornell University, York College, Vermont University, St Joseph's, and more, but the team did not appear daunted by those names in any way.

The team has been waking up at 6:00 AM to squeeze in two-hour practices twice a week to make sure they’re ready. “It’s tough to wake up early, but the guys are really into it and we’re all planning on making the most out of this season” said forward Etan Bardash (YC ‘17). “It’s a great opportunity that we’re excited to have.”

Much campus chatter has come along with the beginning of the season. “I cannot believe we have a hockey team. I hope they play nearby soon so I can watch them play,” said Daniel Shub, a sophomore.

The hockey team is fortunate to have received a donation from an unnamed donor. However, while the generous donation was greatly appreciated, the donation alone was not enough to cover all the expenses of the team. Co-founder Amir Gavarin said: “We really do need more funding though--pretty desperately.” Due to the lack of funding, the players find themselves covering many of the fees that come along with the team. The eighteen-man roster willingly pays their dues out of their love for the game. But perhaps after their remarkable start, this will become less of an issue

The start of the new season marks an era in Yeshiva University’s history. This is the first time the school will have a roller hockey team and the future certainly looks bright for this new team.