At halftime and down by two goals, Jack Krist, captain of the Rookies, already knows why his team was behind: “[We’re] an older, mostly staff team, and we’re a little bit slower than these young guys,” he jokes. He is confident about his strategy for the second half: “We need to shorten our shifts up, score more goals, and stop hitting their players with our shots.” The break concludes and Krist’s strategy is in action, but it appears the Average Joes have adopted it instead.
Average Joes captain Alex Santini and teammate Stephen Palladino lead the charge, with two quick goals each to push the lead to 8–2. The Average Joes score the Rookies to submission with six second-half goals. When the final whistle blows it’s clear that, at least today, beauty comes before age.
The Average Joes claimed the ball hockey championship, defeating The Rookies 10–4. The result amplified the budding rivalry between the two teams. Both have traded the championship hardware back and forth with each other in the last three tournaments.
The Campus Rec Intramural ball hockey league is made up of at least six teams. Each team consists of a goalie and three players, and they play games of two halves of 20 minutes each. The Average Joes had the advantage of a deeper bench than the Rookies, readying six total players plus their goalie to keep their players fresh. The Rookies were hurting as they only had five players besides their goalie.
Following the game, a fatigued Krist, having produced no points, acknowledged that his team, made up of RAWC and UTMAC staffed players, was seriously outperformed. “It was a matter of athleticism versus raw out-of-shapism,” he said.
The Average Joes look to defend their crown when the league resumes for another season in late January. Captain Ryan Zarrabbi is confident about his team’s chances, even if the rosters turn out to be even next time: “If we played them again, [and] we had three on our bench and they had three on theirs, we’d take it again. Closer game, but we’d win.”