Pee Wee house hockey team District VI champs

Rockford’s Pee Wee house hockey team celebrates their District VI championship win.


The Rockford area Pee Wee house hockey team is the District VI MAHA champion. West Shore Community College was the scene for a tough five-game tournament in early February for these 11- and 12-year-olds.

The Rockford Rams started with a 2-3 loss Friday night to East Grand Rapids (EGRAHA). The Rams had their backs against the wall—one more loss and they were out.

Saturday morning, the Rams beat a previously undefeated Kalamazoo team on a goal by defenseman Cam Hendrie from near the point. Goalie Brendan Coolbaugh made several great saves to earn the 1-0 shutout.

Saturday evening, the Rams overpowered a Jackson team 6-0, led by Matthew Baker’s two goals and another shutout for Coolbaugh.

A tournament undefeated Big Rapids team with a former Rockford goalie, Alan Kolenda, battled to a 2-2 tie on Sunday morning. With only 25 seconds left in the third period, Ryan Wolfe stole the puck near the blue line and scored a nice breakaway wrist shot to win the game 3-2.

Sunday’s championship game brought back the Kalamazoo (KOHA) team, and they were looking for revenge. KOHA scored first midway through the first period. Less than a minute later, Rams defenseman and captain Jeff Benda scored on a long shot that hit the crossbar and the back of the net, tying the game 1-1. The Rams’ Bradley Barnard scored midway through the second period and brought the score to 2-1 for the Rams after two. Midway through the third, Matthew Baker scored a huge goal to make it 3-1, Rams.

With 25 seconds left, KOHA scored a power play goal, bringing the score to 3-2, Rams. The Rams fought through two face-offs deep in their zone to finish the game. With gloves and sticks flying, the Ram bench exploded onto the ice to swarm goalie Coolbaugh.

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