The Rams varsity hockey team split a pair of games last weekend, Jan. 8-9, at the annual Walker Classic. Although both were hard-fought games against very formidable opponents, the Rams lost their first game Friday night, Jan. 8, to the always tough and top-ranked Grandville Bulldogs 5-2. The first seven minutes of play started out well for the Rams, as they actually dominated play and puck control, keeping the game in the Bulldogs’ zone for what appeared to be a good match-up early on. However, the Bulldogs’ strong offensive fire power opened up at the nine-minute mark with a quick score to make it 0-1, Bulldogs. A Ram holding penalty with three minutes left in the period found the Rams down a player and on the penalty kill, allowing Grandville to score again at the 2:31 mark. Momentum was all Bulldogs for the remainder of the period as they got another one past Ram goalie Christian Van Portfliet 35 seconds later to end the period up on the Rams, 3-0. Period two had the Rams sharper, as senior forward Noah Greco found the back of the Bulldogs’ net at 8:19 into the period on a well-executed breakout pass play with senior forward Cody Cantu and senior defenseman Geoff Garman on the assist, finally putting the Rams on the scoreboard at 1-3. Unfortunately Grandville came right back two minutes later with another goal and maintained their three-point lead the remainder of the period. The third period saw good hard action from both teams with no scoring until the Bulldogs managed another score with 7:06 remaining, adding to their already strong lead at 5-1, Grandville. The Rams continued the hard fight the remainder of the game and fortunately managed another point as sophomore forward Ben Glass scored with 19 seconds left in the contest with assists from senior forward Cantu and junior forward Thomas Soupal, closing out the contest at Grandville 5, Rockford 2. Saturday, Jan. 9, had the Rams in the Walker Classic consolation game against the Kenowa Hills Knights, resulting in a well-deserved 7-4 Ram victory. The Rams came out fast-paced and hard-hitting in a game that belonged to junior forward Eric Datema, as he scored the hat trick for the Rams with 6:17 still […]
The Rockford Rams hockey team opened the Big Rapids holiday tournament with an afternoon contest against the Jackson Lumen Christi Titans at Ferris State University ice arena. The Titans scored first on a screened shot from the point that Rockford senior goalie Christian VanPortfliet never had a chance on. Rockford answered less than three minutes later when junior Thomas Soupal poked in a loose puck off a scramble in front of the Jackson net. The goal was assisted by Erik Datema and junior Zach King. The teams battled hard, exchanging chances until King scored on a beautiful backhand shot from a bad angle, giving the Rams the lead. The goal was assisted by Soupal and Datema. The Titans evened it at 2-2 with 36 seconds left in the second period with a power play goal on a tipped shot from the point. The Rams again took the lead on a goal from Eric Conroy with an assist from Noah Greco. Jackson again evened it up on yet another power play goal midway through the third. The Rams went ahead for good with senior Alex Fox blasting a one-timer off a great pass from Soupal past the Titan goalie. Senior Jake Chaffee added an empty-net goal to put the game away. The win put the Rams into the championship game against the Big Rapids Cardinals, who defeated Wyandotte/Roosevelt in overtime. The championship game began with Big Rapids scoring late in the first period after both teams fought hard throughout the opening period. As the second period opened, Big Rapids forward Seth Adams picked up a turnover and scored on a breakaway, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. The Rams kept battling and cut the lead to one with Chaffee banging in a rebound off a shot by Greco just after the Rams had killed off a Big Rapids power play. The lead stayed at one only due to a great save by goalie VanPortfliet with just 25 seconds left in the second period. The Rams fought hard in the third period, but were unable to get one past the Big Rapids goalie. Big Rapids won 2-1. Rockford seniors Eric Conroy and Robert Perry were both recognized with awards for outstanding play for both games.