April 22, 2013
The UCCS Club Inline Hockey team defeated Northeastern University 3-2 in overtime in the April 14 national championship game, becoming the 2012-13 National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association Division II national champions.
After defeating the University of Denver in the regional final in March, the team earned a berth to the national championships, which took place April 10-14 in Fort Myers, Fla.
After three games of pool play, and a round of 16 8-0 win over Kansas State, UCCS defeated Cal State Fullerton in double overtime to move to the final four.
Once there, the team beat Kennesaw State University 5-3 and from there got the chance to take on Northeastern.
The overtime goal, scored by Ryan Pedersen against Northeastern, clinched the national title for the Mountain Lions.
“The feeling after the winning goal was put in was unbelievable,” said Club President Taylor Gebhart. “A feeling I will never forget.”
“This team has become my family,” he added. “It was just the biggest accomplishment that I’ve ever been a part of. ”
The win means that the team has the potential to compete at the Division I level next year, and the team will continue to look to expand and improve.
In the mean time, the team is enjoying its time in the local spotlight.
“We are gaining awareness throughout the city, with articles in newspapers, recognition by El Paso County and [being] filmed by KOAA,” said Gebhart.
Look for a full story on the team and the national championship in the May 6 issue of The Scribe.