First Ice Hockey Team at NOVA
May 16, 2008
The first ice hockey team in NOVA history took to the ice on April 22 in Fort Washington, Maryland to compete against Johns Hopkins University. The NOVA hockey team was organized by Team President and Captain Robert Lucier, with funding support from the Annandale and Alexandria Student Activities Offices. Practices began in early February.
NOVA jumped right into competition by playing Johns Hopkins University, a top Division II contender in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). Johns Hopkins is a veteran team that competes in the Mason Dixon League of the ACHA. The Mason Dixon League is composed of club teams from Alvernia College, Gettysburg College, Salisbury University, Catholic University, American University, Bucknell University, Dickinson College, Mount Saint Mary’s University and Johns Hopkins University.
In this David vs. Goliath matchup, the young NOVA team came out noticeably nervous in the first period and Johns Hopkins took advantage of NOVA’s first game jitters. Hopkins scored just 54 seconds into the opening period and did not let up during the frantic first period. A few funny puck bounces did not work in NOVA goalie Mike Boileau’s favor and had Hopkins leading 4-0 after the first period. The Blue Jays of Johns Hopkins continued to barrage NOVA’s net with shots throughout the next stanza. Period two ended with Hopkins leading NOVA 8-0. After 40 minutes of play, the teams retired to their respective locker rooms while the ice was resurfaced for the final period.
The NOVA team was down but they were not out and the break in action is what was needed to turn things around. The NOVA team finally shook off the jitters and came out energized and buzzing in the third period, wanting to take the third period from the visiting Blue Jays. The NOVA team did just that, out shooting Hopkins during the third period and outscoring them, 3-2 over the final twenty-minute period. The first game ended in a 10-3 NOVA loss but the team came off the ice as victors. After just two months of practice and preparation, NOVA competed and won the third period over one of the better college hockey teams in the region. It was a great finish to a new beginning, and a great way to start a brand new program.
Hermon Asberry (WO) opened the scoring for NOVA, 51 seconds into the third period with an assist going to Ray Leshynski (WO). Leshynski set up the second goal 10 minutes later on a shot from the point, tipped past the Hopkins goalie by Sylvester Selester (AN). Michael Richards (AL) gained the third period victory for NOVA with a rebound goal off a shot from John Daunt (AN), with just under eight minutes remaining in the game. NOVA goalie Ray Navorio (AN) shut down the Johns Hopkins offense the remaining eight minutes of the third period in goal. Mike Boileau (LO), Adam Ferguson (WO) and Navorio combined for 55 saves in goal for the NOVA team.
NOVA Hockey plans on staying in shape this summer and preparing for fall tryouts by playing in local men’s leagues and sending a team to Boston and Cleveland to compete in a series of summer tournaments.
NOVA Hockey is coached by Barrett Haga, a governmental consultant, Trevor Blair (AL), counselor, and Michael Donnelly (AL), counselor. If you know of a student who might be interested in playing/trying out for NOVA Hockey, they may contact team president, Robert Lucier at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College’s Web site, www.nvcc.edu.