The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are a collegiate inline hockey team based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. They are governed by the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association. The Scarlet Knights compete in the Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (ECRHA) at the Division I level.
Franchise history Edit
Roller Hockey at Rutgers University has been around for many years, starting on a single tennis court painted like a hockey rink. Eventually an outdoor rink was opened on campus with students and alumni playing nearly every night. This strong following of roller hockey led a core group of dedicated students to start the Roller Hockey Club.
The Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (ECRHA) is part of the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA), which is made up of over 150 college roller hockey team around the country. The founders and first class of officers consisted of President Anthony Tsigourakos, Vice President Matt Cooper, and Treasurer Adam Diener, who worked closely with both Rutgers and the ECRHA to get the team off the ground. Originally, the Scarlet Knights to only have one team, however the large turnout our first year forced them to field two teams; one Division I and one B team. Roller Hockey remains one of the fastest growing club teams at Rutgers with over 30 members in its first year and up to 45 members in its fourth year. The club now boasts 2 travel teams and 1 developmental team.
'Season One (03-04) President: Anthony Tsigourakos VP: Matt Cooper Treas: Adam Diener Sec: James Novak D1 Coaches: Rob Dixon, Ed Vachino, Dom Roca B Coaches: Rob Dixon, Ed Vachino, Anthony Tsigourakos, James Novak D1 captains: Anthony Tsigourakos (C), James Novak (A), Pat Horgan (A) B captains: Dan Rosen (C), Evan Sauer (A), Scotty Busanic (A)'
RU Roller Hockey struggled through its first season in the ECRHA, as the Division 1 team went 2-18-3 and the B team went 3-17-1, as both failed to qualify for the Regional Championships. During the season, assistant captain James Novak was selected to the Division 1 All Star team, which was one of the great moments for the club in its inaugural year. The Knights earned their first ever victory in an inter-divisional game against Westchester in late February, 2004. Novak added three assists in the game, while Andy Morrison and assistant captain Pat Horgan found the back of the net multiple times during the game. Vice President Matt Cooper earned the club's first win in goal with 34 saves. Mid-way through the season, the club's first coach, Rob Dixon, stepped down from his position. He was later replaced by Dominick Roca, who would go on to coach the club through the 06-07 season. Rutgers alumnus Ed Vachino stayed on as an assistant coach to the D1 team throughout the season. The B team was eventually coached by players Anthony Tsigourakos and James Novak, and coach Ed Vachino.
'Season Two (04-05) President: Anthony Tsigourakos VP: James Novak Treas: Adam Diener Sec: Joe Tsigourakos D1 Coaches: Dom Roca, Don Protz B Coaches: Eugene Goldinberg, Ryan Trembley, Don Protz D1 captains: Anthony Tsigourakos (C), James Novak (A), Pat Horgan (A) B captains: Jim Mellett (C), Adam Diener (A), Evan Sauer (A)'
The club's leaders regrouped during the offseason and implemented a new organizational gameplan for the upcoming season. Through strong recruitment and fundraising efforts, the club was able to field an extremely competitive team with the resources to help the club grow and improve. The team added Don Protz as an assistant coach to the Division 1 team and as the General Manager of the club. Protz's roller hockey savvy went a long way towards helping the club improve on the court. RU Alumni Ryan Trembley and Eugene "The Hammer" Goldinberg were added to the team staff as coaches for the B team. With the arrivals of Jeff Grabowski, Rob Fulton, Pat Mazzella, Cody Dziadyk, and Matt Pokoj in goal, the Knights proved to be a playoff contender early on. The team worked hard at practice and during exhibition games and the efforts showed on the court, as both teams earned solid regular season records and qualified for the ECRHA postseason. James Novak was named to the All Star team for his second straight season and was joined by goaltender Matt Pokoj, appearing in his first All Star game. Rob Fulton was also named to the team but did not play in the game. After finishing second in the Central Division with an 11-7-0 record, the D1 team fell short at Regionals, losing both round robin games and failing to qualify for the elimination round. The B team suffered the same fate as the D1 team, losing two tough games and suffering a disappointing end to their season. Although neither team captured Regional glory, the 2 playoff berths were a win for the club in the grand scheme of things. Such a turnaround from the dismal first season was totally unexpected, and this new found success gave players and team management reason to hope and dream for bigger and better in 05-06.
'Season Three (05-06) President: James Novak VP: Joe Tsigourakos Treas: Jeff Grabowski Sec: Mark Makar D1 Coaches: Dom Roca, Don Protz B Coaches: Pat Horgan, Ryan Trembley C Coaches: Chris Kreuter D1 captains: Anthony Tsigourakos (C), James Novak (A), Dave Gandelman (A) B captains: Jim Trunfio (C), Mark Makar (A), Evan Sauer (A)'
The club gained more talented recruits in 05-06, highlighted by the arrival of the club's all time scoring leader Andrew Brodsky. The Scarlet Knights tore through the first half of the season, sporting a 15-2-0 record going into the winter break. The team was ranked as high as 5th nationally after winning games against D1 powerhouses RIT (twice), URI (twice), and Binghamton (twice). Going into the second half, the team lost power forward Bob Markowick when he decided to transfer back to Vermont. Additionally, the team suffered some major injuries to key players, as All Stars Rob Fulton and Anthony Tsigourakos played through various injuries down the stretch. Still, the Knights managed to win the Central Conference title (http://www.ecrha.net/article.php?article_id=50793) on the final weekend of the season, going 3-0-1 against Buffalo, Penn State, and Pittsburgh during All Star Weekend. The Knights captured their first Conference title in their biggest game of the season; a grudge match with Buffalo with the central conference title up for grabs. Buffalo scored an early goal and lead 1-0 after the first period. The Knights quickly responded early in the second period, as sophomore Jeff Grabowski hit captain Anthony Tsigourakos with a beautiful lead pass. Tsigourakos made a nifty move around the defenseman and snapped the puck through the goaltender's five hole to knot the game at one. Three minutes later, Buffalo responded with a goal to grab back the lead.
With the central conference title on the line, the Knights knew they needed a spark to take control of the game. Using his blazing speed, senior James Novak barreled down the left wing and cut to the net, flipping the puck off of the goaltender's skate from a sharp angle to tie the game at 2. The Knights quickly regained the momentum in the game. As the second period wound down, sophomore Rob Fulton led an impressive rush through two Buffalo defenders and dished the puck to the team’s leading scorer, Andrew Brodsky. "The Goose" slammed the puck into the Buffalo net with three seconds remaining in the period to give Rutgers the 3-2 lead. Things were looking good for the Knights, as they were the proud holders of a 15-0 record when leading after two periods. In spite of this fact, Buffalo was not about to go down lightly, as they tied the game 3-3 less than two minutes into the third period. In a physical, defensive third period, the score remained tied as both teams tried everything to gain the advantage.
As 1:18 remained in the game, senior assistant captain Dave Gandelman led a two on rush into the Buffalo zone. With sniper-like precision, he quickly snapped a shot on goal, beating the goaltender to the stick side to give the Knights the lead! Trailing 4-3, Buffalo pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker and tried everything to penetrate the Knights' defensive shell. Blocking numerous shots, the Knights held off Buffalo' s late attempts at tying the game. Jeff Grabowski stole the puck and snapped it down the court into the open net, sealing the victory, and the conference championship, for Rutgers . This moment proved to be the high point of the season for the D1 team. A record three Rutgers players were named to the 05-06 All Star team as Captain Anthony Tsigourakos earned his first nomination and was joined by goaltender Matt Pokoj (2nd All Star appearance), and freshman sniper Andrew Brodsky.
When the final weekend of the regular season was over, the B team had earned a 13-3-1 overall record, good enough for second in the Northern Conference and also putting them into the Regional Playoffs for a second straight year. Rutgers Alumnus Pat Horgan had replaced Ryan Trembley as the head coach of the B team at the start of the season when Trembley decided to enroll in grad school and re-join the team as a player. Horgan proved to be a great fit as Head Coach of the B team, as the 05-06 season marked the Rutgers B team's arrival as a powerhouse in the B Division. The D1 team finished 18-2-1 and earned the #2 overall seed at Regionals.
Both teams had aspirations of winning the Regional Championship that year, but due to a series of injuries, off the court issues, and internal problems, both teams fell short in the playoffs. The D1 team ended up going 1-1 in the round robin and was blown off the court in the Quarterfinals, losing to Pittsburgh in a penalty-filled game by a score of 13-5. The B team advanced all the way to the Semifinals and was set to play Towson. During the game, starting goaltender Joe Tsigourakos went down with a torn hamstring. However, the Knights remained poised and stayed in the game with a 3-2 lead. Towson tied the game late and ended up winning in overtime, crushing the Knights' hopes of a Nationals bid.
The 05-06 season marked the first official year of the Rutgers C Team. The purpose of the C team is to provide players with a competitive, developmental atmosphere to improve as players and to acclimate to the speed of college roller hockey. The C team practices once per week and competes in 2 house leagues per year. Additionally, the C team competes in some ECRHA events as an affiliate member club. The first coach of the C team was Chris Kreuter, former coach of ECRHA D1-powerhouse Rhode Island. The 05-06 season saw the C team grow to ten players whose level of dedication to the club was immeasurable.
'Season Four (06-07) President: James Novak VP: Joe Tsigourakos Treas: Jeff Grabowski Sec: Mark Makar D1 Coaches: Dom Roca, Don Protz B Coaches: Pat Horgan, Jim McElroy C Coaches: Anthony Tsigourakos, James Novak, Michael Brooks D1 captains: Anthony Tsigourakos (C), James Novak (A), Jeff Grabowski (A), Rob Fulton (A) B captains: Mark Makar (C), Dan Chambers (A), Reggie Dunlap (A) C Co-Captains: Nick LoPresti, Jared Ostroff, Rob Cacioppo'
The Knights came back in 06-07 as a determined, yet depleted squad. Both the B and D1 teams lost several key players, including assistant captain Dave Gandelman and goaltender Matt Pokoj, to graduation. However, the depth of the club showed, as younger players stepped into the vacant roles and accepted the challenges of college roller hockey. The D1 team struggled throughout the course of the entire season and endured many ups and downs throughout 06-07. Still, the key contributors from 05-06 continued to shine for the Knights. Andrew Brodsky (2nd selection), Rob Fulton (2nd selection), Anthony Tsigourakos (2nd selection), and Joe Tsigourakos (1st selection), were all named to the D1 All Star Team. Going into the final weekend of the season, the D1 team had a sub .500 record and needed at least 5 pts in 4 games to qualify for Regionals. However, the task would not be easy, as RU was scheduled to play Delaware, Maryland, Division 3 powerhouse Nassau, and the 3-time defending champions Towson.
After being upset in the first game of the weekend by Delaware, RU needed to go at least 2-0-1 against Maryland, Nassau, and Towson to qualify for the playoffs. The Knights trailed Nassau 6-3 late in the 3rd period, but a spirited rally led by Rob Fulton and Andrew Brodsky helped Rutgers earn a point in a 6-6 tie. Next came the game against Towson, with the season on the line. With their backs to the wall, Rutgers perfected their defensive system and ended up shutting down Towson and won the game 4-2. Joe Tsigourakos made 30 saves in the game and goals were scored by Andrew Brodsky, Brendan Soffientini, Jeff Grabowski, and Aaron Thorburn. The Knights finished off the weekend with a 7-5 win over Maryland, clinching their third playoff berth in as many seasons with a 9-8-4 record. The B team capped off their regular season with an astounding 16-4-1 record, earning them second place in the Northern Conference and their third straight playoff berth.
Going into Regionals, both teams felt they were capable of beating any team and winning the title. The D1 team finished the round robin with a 1-2 record, good enough for a place in the elimination round. The B team went 2-1 in the round robin and also earned a spot in the elimination round. However, both teams would not advance farther than they had a year ago. The D1 team ended up losing a heartbreaker to Rhode Island in the quarterfinals. The B team defeated Buffalo in the quarterfinals but ended up losing to Towson in the semifinals for the second straight season. Both teams ended their seasons in great disappointment, with their hopes and dreams of a championship shattered.
The bright spot for the Rutgers Roller Hockey Club in 06-07 actually occurred with the C team. During the fall semester, the C team competed without a coach and earned a solid regular season record. However, the team came together during the playoffs and made a spirited run to the league finals, only to lose that game 6-4. In the Spring Semester, Anthony Tsigourakos and James Novak took it upon themselves to coach the "coachless" Rutgers C Team. Recruiting the help of former Stockton University Ice Hockey captain Mike Brooks, Tsigourakos, Novak, and Brooks coached the team to a new level of success. The C team worked hard during practices and stuck to playing a disciplined system on the court. the players gained a new understanding of how to play college roller hockey and how to succeed in different game situations. New talent began to emerge, as players Jared Ostroff, Dan Collins, Rob Cacioppo, goaltender Ryan McCoyd, Tom Nunziata, Nick LoPresti, and Kevin McWilliams took the reins of the team and dominated on the floor. The C team earned an undefeated 9-0 regular season record and steamrolled through the playoffs, winning the league championship in a blowout and earning a 12-0 overall record. This victory marked the first time a Rutgers team had ever won a league championship. Additionally, it is the first time a Rutgers team completed an undefeated season. Even with a large amount of turnover set to happen in the 07-08 season, the Rutgers C team will provide the depth and talent necessary for the D1 & B teams to fill their rosters.
'Season Five (07-08) President: Jeff Grabowski VP: Nick LoPresti Treas: James Kinosian Sec: Jim Little D1 Coaches: Pat Horgan, Ryan Trembley, Rob Fulton B Coaches: Mark Makar D1 captains: (C), (A)Robbie Fulton, (A)Jeff Grabowski, (A) Daniel "Mogs" Chambers B captains: (C), (A), (A) C captains: '
Rutgers Roller hockey came back after a disappointing season in 2007 to avenge it. They won convincingly over many of the ECRHAs top teams, securing a top spot in regionals. After a win over Penn State 5-2 in the quarters, it was off the to the semi-finals. This was a new place for Rutgers, as they have never advanced this far at regionals. Due to the earliness of the game, Buffalo was able to skate to a convincing 8-3 victory. However this was good enough to get Rutgers their first bid to nationals in 6 years. So it was off to Colorado.
Rutgers drew a tough first match against the top team in the country, Lindenwood. They skated with the Loins for a while, however their speed was too much, as it was for the rest of the teams in Colorado, as Lindenwood won 7-0. Florida was next on the radar for the Knights, and after traveling through blizzard conditions to get to the rink, Florida was up early on the knights. It was a close game, however the slower Gators were able to pull out a miracle win 4-1. Last in round robin play was North Texas, a lowly team out of the heart of Texas. This game the Knights were able to stand up to their reputation and put a hurting on Texas, 8-1. The goalie felt the heat of Rutgers, as he insisted on throwing up his disgust over the play of his teammates, literally, all over the crease. After a delay, Rutgers continued on the offensive, and Robbie Fulton was able to complete his two-goal game with a clapper from the top of the circle with 3 seconds left, as the disgruntled goalie laid in his own vomit. Jimmy "Muscles" Kinosian added a pair as well, as he emerged as the teams leading scorer at nationals. In the playoffs, the Knights drew Florida International in the first round. In front a packed house, the Knights controlled the game. However, the Panthers were able to tie the game with 5 seconds left on an insanely lucky bounce. The Panthers would go on to win after the wheels of the Panther goalie faulted a Knights 2 on 1.
This year Rutgers made leaps and bounds as a club. Next year, we will surely be a force to recon with.
'Season Six (08-09) President: Carl Pancock VP: Andrew Brodsky Treas: James Kinosian Sec: Jeff Gaskill D1 Coaches: B Coaches: D1 captains: (C), (A), (A) B captains: (C), (A), (A) C captains: '
|2003-2004||23||2||18||3||7||6th in Central||DNQ||DNQ|
|2004-2005||24||14||10||0||28||2nd in Central||Lost in Round Robin to Northeastern||DNQ|
|2005-2006||24||19||4||1||39||1st in Central||Lost in Q-Finals to Pittsburgh||DNQ|
|2006-2007||25||10||11||4||24||2nd in South||Lost in Q-Finals to Rhode Island||DNQ|
|2007-2008||20||16||4||0||32||2nd in Metro||Lost in Semis to Buffalo||Qualified for Nationals|
|1||Anthony Tsigourakos||2003-04 to 2006-2007|
|1||James Novak||2003-04 to 2006-07|
|2||Pat Horgan||2003-04 to 2004-2005|
|4||Rob Fulton||2006-2007 to 2007-2008|
|4||Jeff Grabowski||2006-2007 to 2007-2008|
|1||Ed Vachino||2003 to 04|
|2||Don Protz||2004 to 07|
|3||Ryan Trembley||2007 to 08|
ECRHA Single SeasonEdit
- Most Goals in a season: Andrew Brodsky, 46 (2006-07)
- Most Assists in a season: Robbie Fulton, 39 (2005-06)
- Most Points in a season: Andrew Brodsky, 65 (2005-06)
- Most Penalty Minutes in a season: Rob Fulton, 65 (2005-06)
- Most PPG in a season: Andrew Brodsky, 12 (2006-07)
- Most SHG in a season: Rob Fulton, 4 (2005-06)
- Most GWG in a season: Andrew Brodsky, 6 (2005-2006)
- Most Shots Faced in a season: Joe Tsigourakos, 740 (2006-07)
- Most Saves in a season: Joe Tsigourakos, 629 (2006-07)
- Lowest GAA in a season: Caleb Towne, 3.30 (2007-08)
- Highest Save % in a season: Joe Tsigourakos, .957 (2005-2006)
- Most Wins in a season: Matt Pokoj, 16 (2005-06)
- Most SO in a season: Joe Tsigourakos, 1 (2005-06)
-3 Game min for goalie stats
- Most Games played in a career: Jeffery Grabowski, 100 (2004-08)
- Most Goals in a career: Andrew Brodsky, 137 (2005-08)
- Most Assists in a career: Robbie Fulton, 117 (2004-08)
- Most Points in a career: Robbie Fulton, 206 (2005-07)
- Most Penalty Minutes in a career: Rob Fulton, 187 (2004-08)
- Most PPG in a career: Andrew Brodsky, 23(2005-08)
- Most SHG in a career: James Novak, 9 (2003-07)
- Most Shots Faced in a career: Matt Pokoj, 1006 (2004-06)
- Most Saves in a career: Matt Pokoj, 854 (2004-2006)
- Lowest GAA in a career: Matt Pokoj, 4.06 (2004-2006)
- Highest Save % in a career: Joe Tsigourakos, .857 (2005-2007)
- Most Wins in a career: Matt Pokoj, 29 (2004-06)
- Most SO in a career: Joe Tsigourakos, 1 (2005-07)
-10 Game min for goalie stats
- Most Goals in a Game (Team): 23, vs Northeastern 11/20/05
- Most Goals in a Game(Indv.): 7, Bob Markowick vs Northeastern 11/20/05
- Most Assists in a Game(Indv.):6, Anthony Tsigourakos & James Novak (both) vs Northeastern 11/20/05
- Most Points in a Game(Indv.): 9, Anthony Tsigourakos vs. Northeastern 11/20/05
- Most Saves in a Game (Indv.): 37, Matt Cooper vs. Northern VA 2/21/04
- Fastest Hat Trick in a Game (Indv.) : 25 seconds, Jeff Grabowski vs. Northern VA 10/10/04
- Fastest Goal to Start a Game : 5 seconds, Andrew Brodsky vs. Delaware 11/18/06
- First Goal in Franchise History (Indv.) : Anthony Tsigourakos vs. UConn 10/11/03
- First Assist in Franchise History (Indv.) : James Novak vs. UConn 10/11/03
- First Penalty in Franchise History (Indv.) : Dave Gandelman vs. UConn 10/11/03
- First PPG in Franchise History (Indv.) : Pat Horgan, 10/11/03 vs. SUNY Buffalo
- First SHG in Franchise History (Indv.) : Dave Dzibela, 10/11/03 vs. UConn
- First Win in Franchise History (Team) : 2/28/04 vs. Westchester
- First Playoff Win in Franchise History (Team) : 3/4/06 vs. SUNY Binghamton
- First GWG in Franchise History (Indv.) : Andy Morrison, 2/28/04 vs. Westchester
- First Point in Franchise History (Team) : 10/11/03 tie vs. SUNY Buffalo
- First Goaltender Win in Franchise History (Indv.) : Matt Cooper, 2/28/04 vs. Westchester
- First Goaltender Shut Out in Franchise History (Indv.) : Joe Tsigourakos 2/5/06 vs. Penn State
- First hat trick: Eugene Goldinberg 4/2/04 vs. Hofstra
- Best Team Weekend : 4 wins, 0 losses (41 GF, 12 GA) 11/19/05 - 11/20/05 at Rahway, NJ
- Highest National Ranking: 5th (October '05 - March '06)
- Most consecutive wins: 11 (11/12/05 - 12/4/05)
- Most wins in a season: 19 ('05-'06)
Franchise scoring leadersEdit
These are the top scorers in the history of the Knights. Figures are updated after each completed weekend. Stats are compiled from all available stats, however, players may have incomplete stats. Since stats are not available for all of the total games played, they will not count towards these totals and team records. Note: GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points, PPG = Power Play Goals, SHG = Shorthanded Goals, PIM = Penalties in Minutes
Franchise goaltending leadersEdit
Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GAA = Goals Against Avg, Save % = Save Percentage, SVS = saves, SO = Shutouts
Awards and ChampionshipsEdit
"NCRHA National Championships"
"ECRHA Regional Championships"
- ECRHA Division 1 Central Conference Champions (2005-2006)
"Other Tournament Championships"
ECRHA Division 1 All-StarsEdit
(selected out of Division 1 & 3 by a league vote)
- 2003-2004, James Novak (Offense)
- 2004-2005, Rob Fulton (Offense)
- 2004-2005, Matt Pokoj (Goalie)
- 2004-2005, James Novak (Offense)
- 2005-2006, Matt Pokoj (Goalie)
- 2005-2006, Andrew Brodsky(Offense)
- 2005-2006, Anthony Tsigourakos (Offense)
- 2006-2007, Joe Tsigourakos (Goalie)
- 2006-2007, Anthony Tsigourakos (Offense)
- 2006-2007, Andrew Brodsky (Offense)
- 2006-2007, Rob Fulton (Defense)
- 2007-2008, Caleb Towne (Goalie)
- 2007-2008, Jeff Grabowski (Offense)
- 2007-2008, Dan Chambers (Offense)
- 2007-2008, James Kinosian (Defense)
NCRHA Regional All-Star SelectionsEdit
(selected out of all Divisions in the entire East Region by the ECRHA Board of Directors )
- 2007, Anthony Tsigourakos (Offense)
- 2007, Jeff Grabowski (Defense)
- 2008, Andrew Brodsky(Offense)
- 2008, Jeff Grabowski (Defense)
- 2008, Robbie Fulton(Offense)
"ECRHA President's Award for Leadership & Dedication to College Roller Hockey"
- 2006, Anthony Tsigourakos
"Rutgers Recreation Award for Most Valuable Club Member"
- 2004, Anthony Tsigourakos
"Rutgers Recreation Club Spirit Award"
- 2005, Rutgers Roller Hockey (Anthony Tsigourakos, Adam Diener, James Novak, Joseph Tsigourakos)
"Rutgers Recreation Sports Clubs MVP"
- 2006, Matt Pokoj
- 2008 Jeffrey Grabowski