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Roller hockey championships: Late goal gives Yeshiva D-III national title; Lindenwood wins AA

Apr. 21—AUBURN — Sol Feder bent down in frustration after missing an open net let in the third period.

The Yeshiva University freshman got a second chance 10 seconds later, and this time he powered his way to the net for the game-winning goal 8:11 into the period for a 5-4 victory against Hofstra University to capture the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association Division III national championship at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

It's the Maccabees' first national championship.

"At the end of the day, I wouldn't be there without my teammates," Feder said. "I really appreciate that I had the opportunity I had to do that, but it wouldn't have happened without the great shot from the point. I capitalized on a good opportunity after almost blowing it two seconds beforehand."

Yeshiva is a private Orthodox Jewish university in New York City. The roller hockey program has been around since 2015.

"We aren't a big school. We have a lot of restrictions as an Orthodox university, double curriculum, can't play on the Sabbath, can't practice on the Sabbath," Yeshiva coach Aryeh Minsky said. "To win the D-III national title, it's pretty impressive and we are really proud."

The teams met in the regional final before the national championships began, and the Pride defeated the Maccabees to win the regional championship.

"We had a tough break at the regional championships against Hofstra," Feder said. "This was more than a national championship — this was a revenge game. We wanted this game so bad. We are honored to be here."

Hofstra (Hempstead, New York) feels no shame from the D-III title game loss because they were playing in the final college roller hockey game of the season.

"We made it as far as we possibly could make it," Pride coach AJ Frey said. "It didn't quite work out for us in the end. I want them to go home knowing they shouldn't have any regrets. They left everything out there. I want them to know that in sports sometimes that's how things go."

Hofstra nearly tied the game after Feder's go-ahead goal. Matthew Materazo, from his stomach, put a shot towards the half-open net, but it was deflected and the play stopped with about a minute remaining.

Frey said the plan for the final minutes of the game was simple.

"It was, 'Hey, we need to get pucks to the net, it's the end of the game," Frey said. "Keep throwing them, keep throwing them, and hope it goes in."

Yeshiva took the lead 5:42 into the first period when Feder put a shot on Hofstra goalie Matthew Levy (26 saves) and the rebound kicked out to Benji Froom, who fired the puck into the goal.

"I just remember Sol getting a shot on net and I put it in," Froom said. "I was as happy as I could be."

Feder stretched the lead to 2-0 with a wrist shot from the right circle.

Hofstra bounced back when Maccabees goalie Michael Mintz (17 saves) wasn't able to glove a Britt Bischoff shot, and the puck rolled into the goal.

Collin Ewald tied the game for the Pride 10 minutes into the first period.

Connor Hall gave Hofstra a 3-2 lead when his shot redirected off Mintz's pads to the net nearly three minutes in the middle frame.

Yeshiva's Yoni Drazin had a breakaway opportunity, but Levy made the save. The Maccabees had another chance when a power play expired, but they didn't get the puck past the bodies near Hofstra's crease.

A few minutes later, there were again bodies in front of Hofstra's crease. The net got knocked off its position, but play continued and Yeshiva's Donny Fuchs evened the contest.

After the one-minute intermission following the second period, Ewald's blast put the Pride up 4-3 only 21 seconds into the third.

Two minutes later, Froom passed to Yonah Suissa, who fired a backhand shot past Levy to tie the game 4-4.

Froom said he's glad the graduating seniors were part of the Maccabees advancing past the Elite Eight for the first time in the program's history.

"Once you get over the hump, you have to keep on going," Froom said. "We had to get it for Donny (Fuchs) and a few seniors to get it done."

Behind Shaun Sapienza's hat trick and two assists, Lindenwood took the AA Division national championship with an 8-0 victory over Boston University.

"It was fun to win with the team," Sapienza said. "The atmosphere was great, the teammates were great. It's a great time to be here and enjoy this with my team."

It's the Lions 18th national championship at the AA level.

The AA championship is for clubs that bring a second team to the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association national tournaments.

Lindenwood's (St. Charles, Missouri) powerhouse Division I team lost the championship game in triple overtime to Grand Canyon University on Saturday night.

Dillon Bilek opened the scoring early in the first period in the AA championship game when he ripped a shot past Boston goalie Samuel Boardman.

The Terriers created shots on a power play late in the opening period, but none were on net.

After the Lions killed the penalty, Sapienza doubled the lead off an assist from Cameron Green.

"Shaun Sapienza was huge for us. He's a freshman," Lindenwood coach Jon Hilke said. "There's a bright future for that kid. He had a great year and he's one of our top players. I am excited to have him for another three."

Lindenwood had a 3-on-1 in the final seconds, but the shot rang off the post.

Sapienza scored a shorthanded goal early in the second when he deked past a Terriers' defenseman to beat Boardman (29 saves).

Sapienza notched the hat trick a minute later, giving Boston a 4-0 lead.

Drew Royer made a great pass to Lucas Hurst for another goal midway through the second stanza.

Boardman made two outstanding diving saves early in the third to keep the deficit at 5-0.

Andrew Deciantis and Bilak scored power-play goals in the third period for the Lions. Kade Uetz slid a backhander into the goal in the final minute of the game for an 8-0 lead.

Joshua Henson stopped 14 shots to notch the shutout for Lindenwood.

Roller hockey championships: Grand Canyon claims Division I title in triple overtime