Wednesday night, Jan. 11, the Rockford Rams varsity hockey team took on the Mona Shores Sailors in a game that would be a rematch from a game last year, where the Rams were embarrassed on the ice. This year’s team was seeking retribution as not one of them had forgotten that night.
In the first period, it was obvious that the Rams had come to play with a new jump in their step, playing fast and physical. Early in the game, junior Nate Hill sustained an injury that forced him to miss the remainder of the game. This seemed to get the rest of the team to rally and step it up a notch, as they knew without one of their top players this night would be an even bigger challenge.
Mona Shores was able to get on the board first with five minutes left in the first period. However, just 11 seconds later, Rockford junior Stephen Shira scored the game-tying goal and both teams went into the locker rooms with the game tied at 1-1.
The Rams outshot the Sailors in the first, 10-8.
In the second period, the Rams came out and made the most of their scoring opportunities. At the 4:30 mark, junior Michael Moroney got the go-ahead goal with assists going to junior Austin Cantu and senior Ben Glass. The Rams went into the second intermission up 2-1 and feeling that they have what it takes to take down the Sailors.
In the third period, the Rams were determined to put a little breathing room between them and Mona Shores. At 4:50 into the period, junior Jacob Smyth scored an unassisted goal to put the Rams up by two goals.
Midway through the period, Glass scored what appeared to be the fourth goal of the game, but the referees ruled that they had blown the play dead, so the goal was not counted.
With about four minutes left in the game, Mona Shores was able to get a goal that brought them to within one, and it looked like the last few minutes would be a nail-biter.
Less than a minute later, Ram senior Justin Ullrey was able to capitalize on a turnover and went one-on-one with the Sailors’ goaltender for a break-away to seal the game with great top shelf score.
Rockford goaltender, junior Todd Millar, had a solid game in net, making sure that the win would be preserved. He turned away 29 of 31 shots he faced to get the very important win for the Rams.
The Rams’ next game is at home game Wednesday, Jan. 18 against Forest Hills Central.