How long has the Penn Roller Hockey team been around?
Patel: We started back in 1995, so it’s been around for a while. There are a lot of people that I don’t know but the cool thing is that we have a pretty big alumni network and they stay on the listserv, so they’re around and you hear from them every once in a while.
The Philadelphia Collegiate Roller Hockey League was started by a guy named Brendan Brennan in 1998 at the Class of 1923 Rink. It was an invitational tournament, about a six or so team tournament. And from there they turned it into a league and it’s expanded to about 18 teams now.
We keep joking that the cup is named after him, it’s called the Brennan Cup, he started the club but in our 15 years Penn has never won it. We’ve got a shot this year, we’ve kind of snuck into the top part of the standings and everyone is joking around that this might be the year.
What initially drew you to play for the team?
Patel: I started playing because I liked hockey, but I think if you want to be part of a team that gets along, hangs out outside of the games and practices, I think this is a good club. The undergraduate group is pretty close, you have a lot of alumni, you have a lot of grad students and everyone is close and everyone gets along. We’re a fun, goofy group and we don’t take anything too seriously either. What drew me in is that you’ve got a team that you can still be a part of and play competitively but also have a good time and it’s not that structured. We have cool jerseys, too.
Do most players have previous roller hockey experience?
Patel: I think for a lot of players on the team, everyone watches hockey. We welcome all levels, so some students have played ice before, played roller before, played just street hockey before, maybe even played floor hockey or not had an skating experience. So we take everyone on, so we have a whole range of players.
Are there any big differences between roller hockey and ice hockey?