March 14, 2008
Courtesy: Phil Roy, Head Men's Ice Hockey Coach
The ECAC West league standing was decided on the last day of the regular season. Neumann faith would bring them face to face, in a sudden death match-up again Hobart in the first round of the Playoffs. Faith was not on the Knights side that game, thus ending their season.
The end of their season combined with having a week off from school for spring break lead to a life long dream for both players. The opportunity came knocking rapidly from a different team at various professional levels, Coach Roy mentioned. "I knew the possibilities out there; I got a lot of interest from different teams anywhere from the East Coast to the Southern Professional league. Geographically we have five ECHL teams that are anywhere from 45 minutes to 6 hour drive. They not only have a chance to see the players perform but it also makes a big difference in the business side of call ups."
Assistant Captain Neil Trimm and four year Captain Mike Gooch jumped on the opportunity to join the Wheeling Nailers of the East Coast Hockey League, ECHL. Trimm comments; "In less than a 5 days you go from an emotional low to the excitement of playing professionally. It was a great experience, and [I] enjoyed the opportunity to showcase my ability at that level."
Defensemen Mike Gooch was feeling right at home being on the starting line up during his first professional game against the internationally known Johnstown Chiefs. This hockey team was portrayed in the cult movie "Slap Shot", starting Paul Newman. "Every hockey player can fire a dozen one-liners from that movie. This was something I wanted to taste after my College career. I was great to compare my progression. The game and players execution is a lot faster, the consistency and cerebral decisions where the biggest adjustments. I was nervous my first few shifts but keep it simple and settle right in", added Gooch.
"I am extremely happy for those two guys'. I am not surprise because that's the type of character players we have in our program. I am confident other players will have similar opportunities over the summer", concluded Coach Roy.
Mike Gooch played two games and will be able to play two more games this weekend, tonight, March 14th against Cincinnati Cyclones and Saturday against Reading Royals.
Neumann College Athletics Ice Hockey