By TIM BAUMGARDNER
The 2017/18 version of the Rockford Rams Varsity Hockey Club is ready to hit the ice. The Ice Rams are coming off a strong finish to the 2016/17 season, making it to the MHSAA State Quarterfinals for the second year in a row. They are looking to continue their success this season.
The 2017/18 Ice Rams look significantly different than last season. Twelve players that were on the team last year are no longer with the team including nine seniors that graduated and three players that did not return.
Rockford is led by third year player Ryan Earl (#5, senior forward, captain), second year player Heath Drye (#8, senior forward, alternate captain), and third year player Cade Baumgardner (#6, junior defenseman, alternate captain).
The Ice Rams will look for leadership from the other returning players as well: Cody Smith (#3, junior defenseman), Hunter Moran (#4, senior forward), Dan Sokol (#9, junior forward), Ethan McCormack (#10, junior forward), Kevin Healy (#11, junior forward), Jake O’Dette (#15, senior defenseman), Michael Bedford (#16, junior defenseman), and Aidan Hoffman (#24, junior defenseman).
New to the Ice Rams this season are: Zac Sherman (#1, junior goaltender), Alex Jones (#2, junior defenseman), Brendan Bach (#14, junior forward), Kyle Switzer (#17, sophomore forward), Braden Dahlke (#19, junior forward), Tommy Schwandt (#22, sophomore forward), Elliot VanPelt (#25, junior defenseman), Hunter Dakin (#27, junior forward), and Justin Stack (#31, junior goaltender).
The Rockford Rams are coached by second year head coach CJ Pobur, and second year assistant coaches Tim Marney and Nick Timmesch.
Rockford opens the 2017/18 season on Friday, 11/17 vs. Jenison at Georgetown Ice Arena. Puck Drop is slated for 4pm.
Upcoming games include a tilt against Forest Hills Northern Eastern on Wednesday, 11/22 at Patterson Ice Center at 6:30pm and the Griff’s Thanksgiving Tournament which has the Rams facing Kenowa Hills on Friday, 11/24 at 7pm and West Catholic or Northview on Saturday, 11/25 at 1pm or 3pm. All Griff’s Thanksgiving Tournament games are held at Griff’s Ice House.
Follow the Ice Rams online at RockHockey.org or on Facebook and Instagram. Go Rams!