Wednesday night, Feb. 23 at Walker Ice Arena, the Rockford varsity hockey team took on the Crusaders from Muskegon Catholic Central in a rematch of an earlier contest, in which both teams had skated to a 4-4 tie. This night was much different. Early in the contest, Rockford got on the board when freshman Zach Schwandt deked past a defender and snuck the puck in the net past the Crusaders’ goaltender just two minutes into the contest. Ten seconds later, Rockford gave up a goal after the initial shot was stopped, and a Crusaders skater was there on the doorstep to drive it home to even the score early at one. The scoring for the Rams continued when Nathan Hill, after receiving a perfect pass from Justin Ullrey in the corner, found the back of the net to again put the Rams ahead. The rest of the period was much calmer, as both teams had scoring chances. But it was at the 1:19 mark in the first when Alex Schrotenboer converted on a rebound to score, with Zach King and Hill getting the assists. The second period continued with the Rams dominating. Only one minute into the period, Ullrey scored on a rebound after Hill’s shot was originally stopped by the Crusaders’ goalie to make the score 4-1 Rams. One of the best goals of the season came next on a Ram power play as a one-touch pass from Erik Datema to Hill to King was one-timed into the net by King. It was a thing of beauty that was great to see, knowing that a play so well run is almost impossible to defend when the opponent is a man down. The end of the second had both teams off to the locker room with the Rams up 6-1. In the third period, the Rams came out looking to light the lamp. At the beginning of the second minute of the period, Hill got loose and faked out the Crusaders defender to score an unassisted goal, putting the Rams up 7-1. Three minutes later, it looked like the Rams were going to make this a shortened game, as Ullrey got loose behind the Muskegon Catholic defense to score on a breakaway with a great […]
First time in West Michigan history This hard working group of boys started the season with a goal that no one thought could be achieved—a goal that no other hockey team from the west side of Michigan had EVER achieved. The goal was to win the state championship and qualify to go play for a national title. On Sunday, March 14, the Grand Rapids Griffins Bantam AA hockey team reached their goal. This team won in the finals against an excellent team from Allen Park, winning 5-3 to earn the right to represent Michigan and compete for a national title. As Head Coach Scot Mills says about the boys, “They just don’t quit!” The team will travel to Wayne, N.J. to compete for the national title April 7-11. The team will be represented by four Rockford boys: Cam Bathum, Todd Millar, Trevor Mills and Nathan Hill. The team is coached by Mills and Assistant Coach Alan Hoard, both of Rockford.