The Rockford Rams Varsity Hockey team traveled to Kalamazoo for a pair of games during the weekend of January 23 and 24, and came away with two W’s. Rockford defeated Mattawan 5-3 in the Friday night contest. Rockford dropped Portage Northern 2-1 in the Saturday matinee matchup.
Mattawan opened the scoring midway through the opening period. Rockford responded by scoring the next three goals. Brendan Kennedy (assisted by Braden King) and Jarrett Ullrey (unassisted) each netted first period goals. Jacob McNamara (unassisted) scored early in the middle period. Mattawan scored late in the second to trim Rockford’s lead to 3-2 heading into the final stanza. The Rams put the game away by scoring the first two goals in the third. Ullrey netted his second score of the game (assisted by Tanner Vesche) and Vesche closed out the scoring for the Rams (unassisted). Mattawan scored a late goal to make it 5-3. Brendan Coolbaugh played all 51 minutes and recorded the win for the Rams.
Saturday’s contest against Portage Northern was a defensive struggle. Both teams scored in the first period, with McNamara netting a short-handed goal for the Rams (assisted by Vesche). The second and third periods saw both teams getting chances, and both netminders standing tall. The game headed into OT with the teams knotted at 1-1. It wasn’t until the final minute of the extra period that McNamara scored the game winner (unassisted). It was his second goal of the game, and like his first goal, the OT winner came on the penalty kill. The two teams battled hard and the Rams came out on top with the 2-1 win. Coolbaugh earned the win for Rockford.
The Rams ended the weekend with a record of 12-3-1 overall.
Upcoming games for Rockford include three important league contests. The Rams square off against Reeths-Puffer in a midweek match-up on Wednesday, February 11 at Lakeshore Ice Arena in Muskegon. Game time is 7:30pm. The following Wednesday, Rockford hosts East Kentwood at Griff’s Ice House. The February 18 tilt starts at 8pm. On Friday, February 20, the Rams host Forest Hills Central at Griff’s Ice House. Game time for this contest is 8pm.