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TEXAS TECH INLINE HOCKEY CLUB
Mar 30, 2015 - Texas Tech Wins SCHL D1 Championship
Denton, Texas --- The Texas Tech Red Raiders are Division 1 Champions!
After 18 long years since the club won its 1st and only D1 championship, the cup is back in Lubbock, Texas! Yes, you read that correctly. After many losing seasons, spent mostly as a runner up and a Division 1 afterthought, the Raiders have won the SCHL Champion’s Cup for the first time since 1997.
To put this lengthy drought in perspective, the last time Texas Tech won a D1 championship, Bill Clinton was our President and ‘the Macarena’ and the Spice Girls ruled the music charts.
After losing Game 2 to UNT in the championship round, the Raiders responded with a dramatic overtime win to clinch the SCHL Division 1 Champion’s Cup.
Eric Hesson scored 32 seconds into overtime, and the Raiders took Game 3 with a 4-3 victory over the University of North Texas on Saturday night in Denton, Texas.
Hard work didn’t seem to scare the Raiders, as evidenced by their 1-8 record against UNT in the regular season. Texas Tech played UNT to 3 one-goal games in those losses, including 2 overtime losses back in January and February. The sense was that Texas Tech was learning what it took to beat UNT and elevated their game when it mattered most – in the playoffs.
The Raiders began their playoff push in Game 1 by bombarding UNT with a 6 goal second period outburst, en route to a 6-4 victory. Austin Murray, Robbie Price and Preston Ware led the Raiders offensively with 2 goals and 1 assist each in the middle frame. Nic Wahler made 20 saves for the win.
The Raiders stayed on a tightrope in Game 2, doing all they could to balance defense and scoring in a highly offensive affair. With the goalie pulled and the score at 9-8 UNT, the Raiders surrendered an empty net goal to seal the loss in a back and forth game.
Texas Tech would save all the last minute heroics for Game 3. With goaltender Nic Wahler sitting on the bench, Senior Robbie Price faked a slap shot at the top of the point and snapped the puck towards Preston Ware who redirected the puck into the net with 7 seconds remaining in the game.
“There was a face off in their zone with 25 seconds left. I was thinking to myself that I don’t want to end my career by losing to UNT again.” said Senior Robbie Price, whose primary assist kept the Raiders alive. “The puck bounced out towards center ice and as I settled the rolling puck, my first thought was to shoot it but then I saw someone back door and the only lane was through defender’s legs. Preston had a beautiful tip.”
In the overtime period, Tech caught a break at a most inopportune time for UNT. As a UNT player began the skate puck out of the UNT zone, the player tripped up and allowed a hard forechecking Austin Murray to collect the turnover. Murray made no mistake, as he found a streaking Eric Hesson to the front of the UNT net. Hesson fought off a UNT defender and chipped the puck in over the goaltender’s shoulder for the game winning overtime goal.
Price was overwhelmed with excitement to see the OT goal go in, as the team mobbed Hesson in the corner to celebrate the win.
“I was playing a 2 on 2 when their player fell.” said Price, who led all Red Raiders in scoring this season with 57 points. “Murray picked up the puck and went down 2 on 1 with Eric and I was hoping they would score. I knew their was a good chance and then Eric put it in. The first thing I did was throw my stick so high that it hit the arena ceiling. I threw my gloves, helmet and went straight to the pile in the corner. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was hugging everyone and telling the boys thanks for helping me go out on top. I really couldn’t believe that we had just won.”
SCHL director Jered Nemergut presented the D1 Champion’s Cup to the club and it was a sight for sore eyes for everyone.
“When they presented the cup to our team, everyone told me to grab it first.” said Price. “That was a great feeling to know the guys wanted me to have it first.”
Indeed, Texas Tech’s run to playoffs was met with its regular season struggles but it was defined by the raw, blue collar effort in the playoffs that resulted in earning the cup.
The Raiders showed the same determination and resiliency that has characterized their entire season, and finally came away victorious in the end.
We can imagine the players didn’t celebrate by doing the Macarena in the post game celebration, but then again I’m sure they don’t care how long it has been since the cup was in the Hub City. No, I’m sure the only thing that matters now is that the cup shines bright, back again in Raiderland.
Nov 10, 2014 - Raiders Open Season With 2-2 Split
Lubbock, Texas --- Texas Tech Inline Hockey is back.
After a long summer off, the wheels officially hit the rink this past weekend in Denton. Tech opened their first weekend of competition for the 2014-2015 season & its 18th year since the club was founded in 1996.
Here is a list of the game results:
L 4-1 @ University of Arkansas
L 8-1 vs University of North Texas
W 11-2 vs Abilene Christian University
W 10-0 @ Sam Houston State University
Texas Tech lost a tough one against Division 2 opponent University of Arkansas in their first game of the season. In what proved to be a tight, competitive game, Tech received 33 saves from veteran netminder Nic Wahler. His 33 saves were good for 2nd star of the game. Conner Richardson scored his first goal of the season, while Tech had the man advantage, to bring the game close at 2-1. However, it would not be enough as Arkansas scored 2 more goals in the 3rd period to hand Tech its first loss of the season.
The second game of the weekend featured the marquee matchup in Division 1. Tech found themselves in a rematch against rival foe University of North Texas. Unfortunately for the Red Raiders, UNT scored early and often, scoring 5 goals less than halfway through the game en route to a 8-1 loss. Preston Ware had the lone tally for the Raiders with Conner Richardson collecting the assist. Nic Wahler made 20 stops in the loss.
The final two games of the weekend saw Tech crush its D2 opponents. Tech outscored the other guys 21-2 as they picked up wins against Abilene Christian University and Sam Houston State University. Preston Ware led the way against ACU with 7 points (1 goal & 6 assists) and Robbie Price exploded for 4 goals and 1 assist. Tech easily handled SHSU in their final game of the weekend with Robbie Price scoring another 4 goals and Sterling Mulacek getting the hat trick.
Texas Tech is back in action November 22-23 in Round Rock, Texas. All game will be held at Austin Sports Arena.
Wreck 'Em Tech!
Photo Credit: Jason Ware
Jul 11, 2014 - Countdown To Training Camp
Lubbock, Texas --- As the Texas Tech Inline Hockey Club enjoys the summer sun, plans are already underway for next season!
If you are interested in joining the club, please contact:
Nic Wahler / President / firstname.lastname@example.org
Tate Hunton / Vice President / email@example.com
Training camp for the 2014-2015 SCHL season will be on September 16th & 17th from 9-11 PM at Skate Ranch in Lubbock. For more details, please refer to the flyer.
The cost per day for training camp is $10 (a total of $20 for both days).
Stay tuned for more updates on training camp, the new schedule and all your up to the minute news on your Red Raider Inline Hockey Club!
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