Recently, Roslyn youngsters began competing in a new game; inline hockey. This game is a combination of ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse. The sport is about teamwork—passing the puck and creating opportunities. It is a safe and fun sport with fewer injuries than ice hockey due to the lack of checking. The games are played four-on-four, plus a goalie. Unlike ice hockey, there are no offsides in inline hockey, creating a quick and fast-paced game. The athletes must be in great shape—their feet must always be moving to be successful. The inter-school district games are played at Skate Safe America as part of the Islandwide Roller Hockey League. The Roslyn team developed from North Shore PAL Roller Hockey and the desire of the young players to continue to compete against other towns on Long Island. In September, tryouts were held for the middle school and there was an overwhelming response to represent the Bulldogs. The response was so great that Roslyn formed three teams—Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 teams. Each team was composed of 6 to 10 players. Roslyn was the only town to have three teams. Having three teams provided a great opportunity for our young players to grow and play, but also represented a disadvantage—thinning out the talent and having our younger teams compete against older, stronger and larger players. The Tier 1 team consisted of seventh-and eighth-graders and the Tiers 2 and Tier 3 teams consisted of fifth-and sixth-graders.
Roslyn was small, but quick and feisty. The kids won both Tier 1 and Tier 2 through teamwork, not individual play. The members of the teams are, for Tier 1: Ben Cash, Max Meyer, Jake Litvack, Shane Elias, Noah Oralevich, Spencer Waldman and Anthony Raspantini; Tier 2: Ian Litvack, Matthew Stone, Matthew Granoff, Michael Granoff, Anthony Raspantini, Ben Anmuth, Max Levine, Maxwell Olson and Jordan Stone; Tier 3: Jonah Ben-Levi, Jack Allen, Justin Arlet, Ethan Kessler, Ayden Levy, Jason Liepper, Daniel Raspantini and Jared Simpson.
In the Tier 1 game semifinal, the Roslyn team went down by two goals at the start of the game. The team regrouped and went back to basics and utilized their talent of skating and passing to disrupt the game plan of Island Trees, who were utilizing a box defense to prevent goals. The passing strategy led to a mercy of Island Trees at the beginning of the third period, winning 11-3. In the championship, the team played the East Meadow Jets. The game was a nailbiter. East Meadows scored the first goal at 2:28 left in the first period. Roslyn responded and tied the game at 1:06 left in the period. In the second period, Roslyn scored with 8:38 left on the clock. East Meadow responded and tied the game with 2:54 left. Entering into the third period, it was all tied up. Roslyn then took a demanding lead with two goals scored at 11:03 and 8:52 left on the clock. East Meadow wasn’t done. They rallied and scored two goals at 3:10 and 1:50 left in the period. The game went into overtime. Two minutes and 19 seconds into overtime, Roslyn scored the winning goal.
The Tier 2 game also had exciting moments. The largest obstacle for the Tier 2 team was the semifinal game against the Seaford Vikings. The Vikings held true to their name and towered over the Roslyn players. They were physical and intimidating. Initially, the Roslyn team was down by two goals at the end of the first period. About five minutes into the second period, the Vikings scored another goal. The kids were down, but recognized that they weren’t out. They regrouped and continued to chip away. Roslyn finally scored with 8:08 left in the second period. About a minute later they scored another goal. The period ended, 3-2 Vikings. At the start of the third, the Vikings immediately scored a goal. Roslyn responded with 11:28 left in the third period. However, the Vikings quickly scored again at 11:04 left in the period. Roslyn, down two goals, rallied and through NHL-style passing, scored goals at 10:12 and 9:30 in the period tying the game. The tie was short-lived. At 6:33 left, the Vikings scored, going ahead 6-5. The game wasn’t over. The kids continued to fight the battle and at 2:25 left in the game scored the tying goal. The team prepared for the last minute and for potential overtime. However, it never happened. With less than 10 seconds left in the game a pass was made from the defense to the offense and with two seconds left, a shot was ripped from the top of the circle and goal for Roslyn. The team never led throughout the entire game but also never gave up, winning 7-6.
The championship game for the Tier 2 team was a bit easier against Farmingdale. The team took an early lead and never looked back, winning 9-4 against Farmingdale. The win was based on the lessons learned throughout the season and during the semifinal game. The team understood that to win required them to work together.
At this time, the inline hockey is not a recognized sport by New York State or the school district. The players have been in contact with administrators at Roslyn and are hoping to create a club team for 2016/17 school year. The administrators have been very supportive of the team and have attended games to demonstrate their pride in their young athletes.