By: Marc Springston
The Florida Atlantic Owls had a very busy and exciting start to their 2012-2013 season. From taking a huge step in player safety by participating in concussion testing to a Daytona Beach road trip, the FAU hockey team gained a lot of experience, and we are only in week two of the regular season. Let’s take a more detailed look back at a busy start of the year for your Owls.
Player safety is an important topic in every level of every impact sport. League’s like the NFL and NHL do their best to promote the safety of their players, especially when the topic is concussions. Head injuries are always one of the most talked about topics in professional sports, especially after the multiple deaths of players off the field and ice over the last two years. The FAU coaching staff realized just how important player safety is, and that is why before the start of the season all of Florida Atlantic University’s hockey players had to participate in mandatory concussion testing before they were cleared to play.
Scott Grosky, FAU’s General Manager and Assistant Coach, sent us the following press release regarding the Owls concussion testing.
“The Ice Hockey Club at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has teamed with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to initiate the most comprehensive concussion detection, evaluation, and treatment program in Florida.
During the pre-season, all FAU student hockey players are required to have extensive baseline testing at Impact Sports Performance in Boca Raton, Florida. This facility also serves as the off ice training facility of FAU Ice Hockey. Testing includes measuring reasoning and other cognitive abilities done on a computer terminal as well as intense physical activities.
Players and Coaches are educated in identifying symptoms by Dr. Gillian Hotz of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine staff including . ( http://impacttest.com/doctors/id/196)In the event of an incident the club has a detailed protocol for its athletes to follow before they are cleared to compete again.”
During a time when concussions are claiming the careers, and lives in extreme cases, of more professional athletes than ever before it is truly great to see Florida Atlantic University’s hockey team take charge and protect their players.
Daytona Glory Days
Opening a season on the road is always an interesting challenge for a team, especially one full of new faces. The Owls embraced and conquered that challenge by winning their first two games against Embry-Riddle, becoming road warriors after just their first two regular season games of the 2012-2013 campaign. FAU picked up a total of 10 goals in the two contests against ERAU during their road trip to Daytona Beach, Florida, including three from forward Nick Isoldi (two goals in game one, one goal in game two). Florida Atlantic will head out on the road again this week when they visit the Space Coast Iceplex in Rockledge, Florida to play the University of Tennessee on Thursday.
After securing two wins on the road against Embry-Riddle it was time for the Owls to head home and play host to the University of South Florida Ice Bulls. FAU wanted to give their fans a win in the first home game of the season, but the Ice Bulls had other ideas. Led by defenseman Joel Messina and his four point night, USF defeated Florida Atlantic 7-3 at the Saveology.com Iceplex in Coral Springs, Florida.
The Owls were without the services of forward Billy Seefeldt and freshman defenseman Daltrey Meitz. Seefeldt missed the game against USF because of the flu while Meitz sat out because of the birth of his son. There is no doubt that the loss of these two players contributed to Florida Atlantic’s defeat at the hands of the IceBulls.
After losing to USF at home it was time for the Owls to hit the road once again. Hoping to recreate the same success they had while visiting Embry-Riddle during their time in Daytona Beach, FAU headed south to battle the University of Miami in game one of a home-and-home series between the two teams. The Owls would jump out to a 2-0 lead early in the 1st period with goals from forwards David Varga and Jonathan Sawtelle, but that would prove not be enough. UM would go on to score 12 unanswered goals, including a pair from the Hurricanes leading scorer Paul Nardone, in front of their home crowd at the Kendall Ice Arena in Miami, Florida.
The following night it was time for Florida Atlantic to play host to the Hurricanes. UM made the trip north to FAU’s home building, the Saveology.com Iceplex, looking to repeat their performance from 24 hours before. What they found when they took to the ice was a very physical, angry Owls hockey team. FAU played a high tempo, hard hitting game from first puck drop to the final horn. The Owls had numerous chances throughout all three periods, including multiple 5-3 power-plays, but they just could not solve the University of Miami goaltender, Joey Cimaglia. FAU would only score one goal against the Hurricanes in the 3rd period, losing for the second time in as many nights to UM by a final score of 6-1.
As we stated earlier in our recap of FAU hockey’s first two weeks of the 2012-2013 season they will be on the road once more this week when they meet the University of Tennessee at the Space Coast Iceplex in Rockledge, Florida on Thursday. Florida Atlantic will pick right back up on Friday, 8:15 PM EST, at the Saveology.com Iceplex when they play host to Florida Golf Coast University in game one of another home-and-home series. Game two will take place on Saturday in Fort Myers, Florida at the Germain Arena, home of the ECHL’s Florida Everblades hockey club.
Be sure to come out and support your FAU Owls during one of the three games this week.
Source: Sunshine State Hockey