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Roman Coin Keeps College Teammates Together

09/14/2016, 10:00am MDT
By Greg Bates - Special to

Adult league team features alums from Marquette University club hockey

Once a player’s time is done on the Marquette University men’s club hockey team, there’s a home for them at the next level.

For those alums, that next level means playing in the adult hockey league with the Regano’s Roman Coin team.

“So as they graduate, we have good ties with them and we play with them every year,” Regano’s Roman Coin team member Tony Jazdzyk said. “It’s kind of like a feeder team to us. As long as everyone gets jobs after college. That’s the only thing keeping us together, everyone’s got good jobs and everybody still remains close after college.”

About 80 percent of Roman’s Roman Coin are guys who played club hockey at Marquette in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Now, the guys are playing in the top division in a league at the Pettit National Ice Center.

“It was a like a fraternity in college playing with those guys, so it’s nice to stay with them,” said team member Scott Stroud.

The adult team came together in 2010 after a large group of players graduated from college. It features players who range in age from 24 to 30.

After playing in college together for so many years, the guys on Regano’s Roman Coin have great chemistry and camaraderie on the ice. That certainly helps for adult league games.

“We’re all pretty familiar,” said Jazdzyk, 29, the same age as Stroud. “We had a bunch of lines that played with each other in college and those are still the guys that are having success on our men’s league team. We’ve played for 10-plus years. It’s kind of cool everybody’s able to stick around. It’s the longest time I’ve ever been a part of a team, I think.”

Regano’s Roman Coin competed in the B league for five years and advanced to four championship games and won two titles. In fall 2015, the guys decided it was time to make a jump up to the A league to test their abilities against stronger competition.

Is it important for the guys to consistently win in the adult league?

“It is. It helps, but it’s all about numbers,” Jazdzyk said. “One weekend you’ll have three lines, the next weekend you’ll have one line. It’s like that for every team. Every game’s a little different.”

After a win, the guys say the locker room is a lot livelier.

“Even if we’re losing, we’re still yelling at each other on the ice,” said Stroud, an original member of the team.

Along with playing in the adult league, Regano’s Roman Coin competes every year in a tournament in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Also, six to seven of the players skate in the annual Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships in Eagle River, Wisconsin. The guys started heading up north in 2012 and love the tournament. In 2016, Regano’s Roman Coin made the playoffs for the first time and lost to the Frozen Muzzies 10-7 in the championship game of the Silver 21+ Division.

“Winning here is less important,” said Stroud about pond hockey. “Our experiences in the past, we’ll always come back to this.”

Whether it’s at an indoor rink in Milwaukee or a pond in Eagle River, the guys cherish being able play hockey together for so many years.

“It’s fun to keep a close group of guys to play and you’re staying in shape – it gets you out,” Jazdzyk said. “We’re all grown up and one guy on the team just had his first kid. It’s a nice way to keep together and it’s on the calendar every week. It’s nice to get a little wind in your lungs and skate with a good group of friends.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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That’s right. Hockey is part of the perfect prescription for an adults’ health regiment. Just ask Olympian and former NHL player Steve Jensen.

“Physical fitness is something we should all be thinking about as we get older,” says Jensen, a longtime certified USA Hockey coach/official. “There’s no better activity than hockey to stay in shape.”

Dr. Michael Stuart, chief medical officer for USA Hockey, says the positives of playing hockey are contagious.

“Participation in ice hockey provides all the benefits of exercise while building friendships and ensuring a fun time,” says Stuart, who is also the vice-chair of Orthopedic Surgery and the co-director of the Sports Medicine Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Dr. Stuart and colleague Dr. Edward Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center sketch out specific benefits for hockey players:

  • Prevents excess weight gain and/or maintain weight loss.
  • Boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, and decreases unhealthy triglycerides, a cominbination that lowers your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
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  • Improves muscle strength and boosts your endurance.
  • Relieves stress by helping you have fun and unwind, connect with friends and family, and be part of a team.
  • Involves physical activity that can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep.

“Playing adult hockey is a great way to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun,” says Stuart, who also emphasizes maintaining a balanced diet. As for safety concerns, he adds: “The risk of injury is small in no-check, adult hockey games, but players should wear high-quality, well-fitting equipment, including a helmet and facial protection.”

The Minnesota-based Adult Hockey Association is starting to see employers embrace hockey as a health and performance benefit for its workforce. Some businesses are beginning to subsidize hockey registration fees for employees because they feel the activity fits the policy of their wellness programs.

“It’s not a lot, but we’re starting to see more and more trickle in,” says Dave Swenson, the AHA’s secretary treasurer who also serves on USA Hockey’s Adult Council and Minnesota Hockey’s Board of Directors.

Swenson wants this trend to continue growing, not just to see the number of players rise, but to reward players for committing to a healthy lifestyle.

“I’m hoping employers think about that a little more,” Swenson adds. “It’s not just softball leagues anymore. There are recreational hockey opportunities out there for adults.”

Hilary McNeish, a longtime player, ambassador, and current executive director of the Women’s Association of Colorado Hockey, says she sees the positive results in women’s hockey every day.

“There are so many benefits,” says McNeish, “but the quote I hear most from ladies is: ‘It’s like working out a lot, but it’s so fun, it doesn’t feel like working out!’”

Aside from the physical health gains, there’s also a mental side to the story that’s special to hockey players.

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