On and Off the Rink, Tile Rink that is
Fearless is an understatement
Could you imagine going pro in a sport at just 18-years-old that only involved wearing a helmet, shin guards, elbow pads and roller skates, without the breaks? Dave Busonick, 22 of Clinton Township did. He played Roller Hockey competitively at Motor City Phoenix for one year.
At just 4-years-old, Busonick started playing street hockey, found his balance on roller skates and played on a series of home leagues. Then, the young 10-year-old started on a travel league and his calling went up from there. “I’ve played roller hockey for 18 years and was able to travel to many different states,” said Busonick. The now senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Sports Management and minoring in Marketing, Busonick envisions himself working for a professional hockey team in the marketing department someday.
Busonick also played just about every sport in high school while playing roller hockey. “It made me a well-rounded athlete.” The reason he left the pro league and decided to go to school was because of the aggressiveness of the older players. Being one of the youngest players in the league, opponents would take cheap shots and try and fight him. That was also when Busonick got into his first actual hockey fight.
His intentions were to go to CMU and play for their roller hockey club team as leisure. CMU’s team was either the first or second best team in the league in 2011. Even this year the team continues to shine and nationals are coming up on April 8 against CSU-Fullerton. Then the team will play two more competitors. Every team is then seeded into the playoffs, but if they lose a game, there done.
Many students do not know that CMU even has a club roller hockey team that is currently number one in the Midwest region and is top five in the nation for Division II. “Our second half of the season we didn’t lose a game, starting in January.” The team only consists of 10 male players. Busonick plays defense. Their record is 13-4 and they had a 10 game win streak this semester.
The way the game is played is with 4 players on the tile floor that is like the size of an ice rink with a goalie. They still use hockey sticks and a hockey puck but it has little balls all over to make it move faster. “There are a lot of breakaways when it comes to roller hockey,” said Busonick. ”There isn’t any checking, icing or off sides.” The game still has 2-minute penalties like ice hockey.
Since there are only 10 male players, the team is very close. “My team is like a brotherhood in a way, we all hang out, have group texts and joke around,” said Busonick. He also likes the competitive nature of roller hockey. “Competing against each other is what I like and the more experience you have it will make you a better player.”
CMU’s biggest competitor is Miami of Ohio. “Its always a tough game,” said Busonick. “Last championship game we played them and we won in overtime.” But even Busonick has his own rival in roller hockey. “I’d say it would be Ryan Kish from Michigan State University.” We are both defensemen and our equal competition.”
Besides roller hockey, Busonick has been snowboarding since he was 10-years-old, he also long boards and likes to hang out with his friends. Busonick encourages all to get involved with roller hockey, for the sport and for the friendships that he’s made. “Any opportunity to get out on the floor to play the game, take it.” “Hockey is leisure and my stress activity,” said Busonick. “I’ve always said leave it all on the rink.”