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From Club Roller Hockey to Team USA: How a Quinnipiac Student got to Play for His Country

Courtesy of Casey “Poppins” Nedelka.

Many people spent their last few days before Thanksgiving break finishing up midterms and packing to go home. One student, however, spent this past week in Brazil playing inline hockey for the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA).

Andrew Miller playing in goal for the All Americans. Courtesy: Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller, a sophomore goaltender for Quinnipiac’s club roller hockey team, got the opportunity to play for the NCRHA’s All-American team, competing for the first time in the South American Inline Hockey Invitational in Sao Paulo, Brazil. From November 15-19, American players went head-to-head against other collegiate players on the Brazilian, Ecuadorian, Chilean, Colombian, and Argentinian national teams.

“It was a pretty selective process,” said Miller, who’s the youngest player on the team at age 19. “They only took 12 people out of 72 [American college roller hockey] teams for players to apply from.”

Thankfully, Miller won’t be among strangers on the team. Even though he’s the only Quinnipiac student playing, he already knows a majority of his current teammates from back home in Scottsdale, Arizona. “I think out of the 12 guys going, seven of them are from Arizona or go to an Arizona college,” said Miller. “Which is really nice for me because being from there I played a lot with these guys when they were in high school.”

Miller has been playing roller hockey since he was two, following in the footsteps of his older brother and cousin. He first played officially for the Inline Hockey Association of Arizona (IHAAZ) Knighthawks, and then division one ice hockey for his high school Chaparral High. In 2022, Miller entered Quinnipiac as a mechanical engineering major, and soon joined the club roller hockey team, which was only just entering its second year as a team.

“This is our third season as a program and right now we’re currently ranked number 14 nationally out of all four divisions,” said Miller. He tried out for the team with a broken hand back in 2022, and became the club’s second goaltender. Miller went on to play with the team until an injury took him off the rink for five months.

Andrew as a goaltender for the Quinnipiac Club Roller Hockey team in 2023
Courtesy: Andrew Miller

During a match against St. Joseph’s College on Nov. 4, 2022, another player collided into Miller, causing him to sustain an anterior labral tear at his hip, a torn quad, and a partially torn ACL in his left leg. After months of recovery, Miller finally got the opportunity to return to the game in April of 2023 for the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships in Irvine, California. To add to the pressure of this return, Miller found out the night before leaving that he would be the sole goaltender for all seven games.

From April 19-23, the team played against Colorado State, RIT, Florida Gulf Coast, University of Colorado, SUNY Oswego, and Boston University, before reaching the final game against Neumann University. Quinnipiac ended up losing the game, placing second in the league. Despite the final loss, the team still saw this as a win.

“We were the underdog going into the tournament just because nobody really knows or has heard of Quinnipiac as much,” said Miller. “And to have this small team from Connecticut, and in only our second season go all the way to a national title game, it’s kind of something that’s an underdog story.”

In Brazil, the All-Americans played eight games in the tournament before making it to the championship on Nov. 19, before losing to the Brazil Senior National Team 1-0. Despite this, Miller enjoyed his time with the team.

The All-American and Ecuadorian roller hockey teams after their match on Saturday 18. The All-Americans won 10-1.
Courtesy: @collegeroller on instagram

“Playing for your country had been a once in a lifetime experience and I’m very thankful to be apart of the team to not only represent Quinnipiac University but the USA as a whole,” said Miller. “The guys on the team had been really amazing through every step of the journey… This is something that you dream about growing up playing hockey and to have it become a reality is unreal.”







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About the Contributor
Casey "Poppins" Nedelka, Planning and Engagement Coordinator
Casey “Poppins” Nedelka is a Junior Film, Television, and Media Arts major from Long Island, New York. Along with being the Planning and Engagement Coordinator for Q30, she is also the Assistant Editor of The Barnacle, Treasurer for the QU Film Society, and the Student Life Editor for The Summit Yearbook. Previously, Poppins was a cast member for Quinnipiac Tonight and an equipment manager for the station.

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