Oklahoma goalie Duris makes NCAA DI Commitment
Oklahoma Warriors goaltender Daniel Duris announced his commitment to play Division I hockey at Long Island University last Thursday.
Duris, the Warriors’ all-time winningest goaltender in Warriors franchise history, has seen his name become synonymous with the organization’s goaltending position over his three seasons with the team. Nobody has played more games, won more games, or stopped more pucks than Duris. The native of Martin, Slovakia backstopped the Warriors to the 2023 Robertson Cup last May with a perfect 7-0 playoff record.
The process to commit to LIU went by in a flash for Duris. Within only a few days of their first conversation, Daniel received an offer he could not refuse and quickly accepted.
“They were really straightforward and told me they really liked me,” Duris said. “I felt a huge interest from their side. I was thinking about it, talking to (Garrett) Roth, Nate (Weossner, associate head coach), and Chris (Johansen, goaltending coach) about it. LIU was a really good deal with the opportunity to play right away next year … I could not say no. I felt like it was the right spot for me.”
His commitment to play Division I hockey is the culmination of three years of hard work, dedication, and trust. Duris had to adjust to the skill and speed of the North American Hockey League’s south division. Plus, while having played the majority of games over the last two years, Duris has been paired alongside a strong goaltending partner for his entire career.
“It was not easy,” Duris said. “It definitely was not easy, especially my first year. When I look back on everything right now, it was definitely worth it. I just kept going, kept grinding, and working hard … Roth believed in me and I felt that he had faith in me.”
That faith came from Daniel’s desire to meet and exceed the standards Roth has set for the Warriors organization. Often called the ‘backbone’ of the franchise, Duris has positively impacted his teammates more than anyone.
“When Daniel came to our organization three years ago, it was evident right from the start that he was willing to put in the work to become a big-time goaltender,” head coach Garrett Roth said. “His practice habits and battle level forced our guys to work on second and third chances around the net with minimal success. That has been a huge part of our team success the last three years.”
Those habits have reflected upon all of Duris’ goaltending partners. Duris has welcomed multiple Division I-committed goalies to the locker room, contributing greatly to the team’s chemistry.
“As highly competitive as he is, the quality that stands out to me the most is how great of a teammate he is,” Roth said. “He embraces his competition and has done it with full support of his goalie partner for three years. That selflessness has been the main ingredient of his and our team’s success since he arrived.”
One of just a handful of three-year Warriors, Duris’ path to end up in Wichita Falls came about so suddenly, much like his commitment process. With the Warriors needing a goaltender late in the offseason, a 17-year-old Duris received an invite and packed his bags right away. After flying halfway across the world, navigating the move to Oklahoma, and winning a championship, Daniel is headed east to New York for the next four years.
“(The Warriors organization) has meant more than you could imagine,” Duris said. “Just the story of me getting (to Wichita Falls), it happened so fast. Without Roth, I would not be here for sure. He gave me the opportunity and was really patient with me. I am also thankful for Chris. Working with him for three years is the best thing that could have happened to me. Nate, Josh Berge, Mary Anne Choi, and all my teammates, too. Miroslav Semjan, my advisor, is the main reason I went to Wichita Falls and I would not be here without him either.”
LIU, a program currently in its fourth season, plays out of Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow, N.Y. The Sharks operate independent of a conference, but play against top-tier competition, including Boston College, Penn State, and Quinnipiac. Duris will join the team this fall.
“We are so proud of Daniel for his commitment and the success he has achieved while wearing a Warriors jersey,” Roth said. “His future is bright, and we know Long Island University is getting an elite person and goaltender.”
With his future secure, Duris can now focus on the fight for a second Robertson Cup as he continues to make the most of his junior hockey career.
“I am just really lucky and grateful that I had a chance.”