BEAVER FALLS, Pa. – Geneva’s roller hockey team defeated the University of Pittsburgh 5-4 in the final game of the best of three series, bringing a hockey championship to Beaver Falls for the first time in school history.
The game was not underway until 11:30 p.m., but that did not stop the Geneva faithful from showing their support. Students, family and friends filled the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center. Some arrived just in time to catch the final minutes of the game, which provided more than enough excitement.
With the game tied and the championship at stake, both teams adopted a conservative approach for the final minutes, trying to avoid giving up the big play. Pitt simply did not have an answer for the determination of forward Nolan Hoobler.
With five minutes to go, Hoobler snatched the puck in his own end, carried it up the floor along the left wing boards, and buried a shot to put Geneva up 5-4.
However, Pitt was not ready to call it a night. With two minutes remaining, Dave Loux was sent to the penalty box for hooking, giving Pitt a timely man advantage. Making the most of the opportunity, Pitt worked the puck beautifully on the power play, eventually getting an open look and ringing a shot off of the post. With goalie Adam Roth down and heavily screened, the puck skipped through the crease, practically begging any nearby Pitt player to knock it into the net. Geneva was able to gain possession and clear the puck, fending off what would be Pitt’s final legitimate opportunity to tie the game.
“I've been in similar situations before; it wasn't really new to me,” Roth said. “It’s added pressure, but it’s fun.”
After the final seconds ticked away, Geneva proudly skated amongst their fans with trophy raised high in the air. The team will sorely miss the talent and leadership of seniors John Hoegle, Brad Beggs, and Dave Loux. But with a deluge of skill returning next season, don't be surprised to see a recreation of this championship scene.
Members of Geneva’s roller hockey team include: seniors Dave Loux (Captain), Jon Hoegle and Brad Beggs; juniors Jon DiBenedetto, Adam Roth, Chris Gage, Kevin Hoegle, Nolan Hoobler and Justin Miller; sophomore Jordan Stear; and freshman Jon Persic. The regular season record was 11-3 and the playoff record was 4-1.Geneva College, a reformed Christian liberal arts school founded in 1848, prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva is a founding member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).
Geneva students have the opportunity each summer to attend Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies to develop practical methods of caring for the environment.