Saturday, February 11, 2017

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas –  The bleachers were jammed – you couldn’t get a seat anywhere – and fans were two-deep around the rinkboards.  It was UNLV’s Senior Night and the Rebels brightest star was senior Terry Martin who was in the net at the SoBe Ice Arena on a cold, rainy night.

Terry, who came four years ago all the way from Alberta, Canada, to initially play on UNLV’s nationally ranked roller hockey team, was his spectacular self in the net for UNLV in an 8-0 win over the West’s 11-ranked Cal State Northridge who came into this game with a glitter-like 24-6-1 record.

There were hometown fans packed into the arena who haven’t been to a hockey game in years. Hockey moms and dads, former players, media and those who just wanted to have a great time. Whenever there was a fuss in a corner on the ice or a stickfight near the net fans rose lightening-quick from their bleacher seats to see the hot action.

For Terry Martin the season has been such an emotional ride. Earlier in the season a rocket-like puck blue-streaked towards him and broke several of his fingers. He didn’t tell his coaches Anthony Greener or Nick Robone about the injury until that game was over.

Then tragedy struck – Terry’s father, who has been by his side in every game he played since the first day he played played this great game – passed unexpectedly a few month ago.

Five years ago Terry was looking for a college roller hockey team. He typed in College Roller Hockey and the words UNLV popped up on his laptop. Hockey dad Tony Robone of Las Vegas said “the day Terry joined our UNLV roller hockey team was the day the team was saved. We needed a top goalie and he was it.”

Roller hockey, which many Las Vegas hockey stars have played to launch their hockey careers here in town, led Terry on a path to become a goalie for the UNLV ice hockey program.

Terry wore a large bright #30 on his jersey last night. He wore Reebok blocker pads which had a blue trim. There were some invaders from Cal State Northridge who blasted towards the net with bad intentions but UNLV’s rough bruising enforcers took care of that business. 

It was a Night to Remember and not only for senior Terry Martin but for seniors Cody Lane and Steven Scamorza as well.

UNLV completed its regular season with a best-ever record of 28-7-0. Now they await anxiously for the final ACHA D2 Pacific Rankings to see where they will head for the playoffs. The ultimate goal for UNLV is to play in the U.S. Nationals.

From the Blue Line – This game had a lot of energy and fans were really into it….No one has better arena music to rock to than UNLV and that goes for a powerful rendition of the National Anthem too….All of this including pre-game activities on the ice plus publicist Megan Edmunds who really pushes the Rebels program and their players and a live twitter feed during the game are leading the Rebels hockey program to a higher level of play in ACHA D1 next season….The rinkboards were really crowded with folks and we spotted Eric Williams, the great Las Vegas defensemen who is a captain this season with the WSHL Ontario Avalanche. “We’re off this weekend and we decided to come here to take a look,” Eric said….Las Vegas hockey dad Tony Robone spent some time pre-game with roller hockey legend coach Larry Sanford….There were many, many UNLV alumni players at this game…Chris Crowley of Las Vegas was the referee. Years ago he had one of the hardest long-range blasts for goals while playing roller at the ‘Little House of Champions’ Crystal Palace which is just a mile or two down the road from the SoBe Ice Arena.

UNLV scoring

UNLV – Jake Saxe 28th goal this season (Cody Williams assist)

UNLV – Steven Terry 5th

UNLV – Cody Williams 33rd (Bas Assaf, Niklas Giers)

UNLV – Kory Grahl 7th (Steven Scamorza)

UNLV – Dion Antisin 28th powerplay (Cody Williams, Bas Assaf)

UNLV – Bas Assaf 4th (Dion Antisin, Viktor Brask)

UNLV – Steven Scamorza 13th (Niklas Giers)

UNLV – Viktor Brask 25th

UNLV goalie – Terry Martin