Hockey takes on a new form with ‘Q’

Kristen Quaresimo

Do you ever sit around on those lazy weekend afternoons just watching TV, trying to think of something useful to do? If so, here’s a story for you.
Roller hockey, a hobby that started out as a way to pass time on such boring days, soon evolved into a movement to become a club sport here at Quinnipiac.
Back in their freshmen year, junior Ryan Lair and a group of friends replaced a hockey puck with a ball and started the trend by playing every Thursday night on the basketball courts, even during the winter when the guys were forced to break out shovels and clear off their “rink.”
Then came the idea to put together a team worthy of competing in the Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (ECRA), a club roller hockey league formed throughout New England that includes schools such as University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut. In order to do this, the team would have to be converted into a club sport, a proposal that was repeatedly dismissed by Quinnipiac administrators.
“We spoke to Jack McDonald last year, trying to get a club roller hockey team,” says teammate Jon Corona. “But it was pretty much shot down.”
“We were all pretty good and we all wanted to play,” added Lair.
Rather than taking the rejection as a defeat, the team entered into a league at the Waterbury Deck Hockey arena next to the Waterbury mall. Calling themselves “Q,” these students play against other competitive teams made up mostly of middle-aged men.
In their first season, “Q” lost in the playoffs, but advanced into the championship game in the following season, where they lost the three game series in triple over time.
The team is made up of nine juniors and one sophomore goalie, and plays on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sunday nights.
Unlike ice hockey, roller hockey is inexpensive, because equipment costs are low. There is no checking in roller hockey, which, according to Lair, allows players to use more of their talent.
“You can use more skill in the game. It’s not just all hitting like ice hockey is. It makes it more fun to play.”
Rather than using a puck and ice, roller hockey involves a ball and is played on a special plastic surface known as “sport court.”
The guys plan to keep pushing for club status, but for now they remain unaffiliated with the school, and simply play for the fun of the game.
“It just gives us something to do rather than just sitting around doing nothing,” says Lair. “This hockey team takes up our time.”
If you would like to get involved and become a part of “Q”, contact Ryan Lair at extension 6711.