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Winter intramurals turn up the heat in playoff race (floor hockey)

A heat wave sweeps through the crowd gathered in the rec gym as loud cracks and slaps resound through the room along with cheers and encouragements. A red ball rolls, bounces and flies around the court as players run after it, armed with sticks. This is the scene every Monday and Wednesday from 10 to midnight – a picture of intense action and team spirit that only Eastern’s intramurals can drum up.

The intramural floor hockey season started on Jan. 21. The twelve teams were then split into two different divisions. These teams’ names, ranging from The Russian Republic to Hip-Hop-Opotamus, have various meanings.

Sophomore Mike Leitzel, the captain of Las Tortugas, said, “They think we’ll be slow because we’re the Turtles, but we come out on fire!”

Some teams, like Second Place, use their names to motivate the team to do better. Courtside Homicide claims that they will “crush the enemy there,” in the words of junior Brian Campbell.

“In hockey, when a goal is scored, red lights go on behind the net,” said junior Andrew “Spoe” Spoelstra, captain of Red Lights. “We’ll make those lights go off a lot.”

As for The Transformers goalie, sophomore Allyssa Miller, she knew that the team created their name because of their love for the Transformers movie. “I’m Optimus Prime,” she said with a smile.

But there’s more than just the teams involved here. The fans are also a big part of the intramural experience. One in particular, sophomore Carly Banes, watches her favorite team, the Ill Nasty’s, every time they take the court, even bringing them snacks on occasion.

“I’m like the soccer mom for them,” she said with a laugh. “They’re my kids.”

The one question on everyone’s mind is who will win the final championship.

Senior Ryan “Moe” Matteucci, the director and web manager for intramural sports, said that his first impression was that either Stick 2 It or Zamboni Roadkill would win the tournament. He was careful to add that anyone could win.

“Anyone can be anybody on any given day,” he said. “Anything can happen.”

The games leading up to the playoffs on Feb. 25 and 27 will be intense. But, as said by Campbell, “It doesn’t matter who the other team is; we came to win.”

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