The Great American Rivalry Series is sponsored by United States Marine Corps. They started out nationally highlighting football games, but this year marks the inaugural season of ice hockey in the series. Select schools from around the nation are invited to participate in the Rivalry Series. These schools have always had “their game”—a traditional rivalry going back many years. Thousands of players have participated in this memorable event, and every year the rivalry creates its own special memories. It is “the game” the whole community looks forward to and talks about all year long. The Rivalry Series not only celebrates high school football and now hockey, it embraces its excitement, traditions and history. A donation is given to the host team for their football/hockey program as well as two college scholarships awarded to a player from each team in the rivalry. The Great American Rivalry Series strives to preserve the integrity of amateur sports and to bring “every player” something to remember for the rest of their life. One of these Rivalry Series ice hockey games was the Rockford Rams versus East Kentwood Falcons on Wednesday, Feb. 24, on Rockford’s home ice. The Rams prevailed, winning 4-3. The Rams were presented the Great American Rivalry Series cup, and the Rams’ Jake Chaffee was selected to receive the college scholarship for having the highest grade-point average of the team—a 4.02.
The Rockford Rams varsity hockey team faced off against archrival and nemesis, the East Kentwood Falcons, on Wednesday, Feb. 24 on their home ice, and skated away with a hard-earned 4-3 victory. “This was a another true team effort that resulted in a well-deserved win for us. Everyone skated hard, played their positions and never let up. I’m very proud of the boys tonight. They earned it,” said Head Coach Ed Van Porfliet. The only scoring in the first period was a Falcons breakaway goal at the 1:42 mark, as they ran their cherry picker strategy the entire game and were able to get through on this one. Period two saw Rockford senior forward Eric Conroy even things up with a nice netter at the 13:17 mark, making it a tie game at 1-1. Assists came from senior defenseman Drake Veitenheimer and senior forward Jake Chaffee. The Rams roared back again, igniting a large and supportive crowd at the 11:19 mark with a beautiful goal from junior defenseman Eric Datema with the assist going to senior forward Cody Cantu. The Rams continued to pound away in the second when junior forward Ben Glass put one in the Falcons’ net, making it 3-1 Rams with 7:16 seconds left in the period. Assists went to Conroy and Chaffee. The action continued with East Kentwood coming back and capitalizing on the power play advantage, scoring at the 4:14 mark, and cutting the Rams’ lead back to one. The Ram charge continued in the second as Chaffee found the back of the Falcon net unassisted with 3:26 left to play, again putting the Rams up by two at 4-2 to close the period. The third period had the Rams’ penalty-killing unit work overtime, as Rockford took three penalties within seven minutes of each other, finally giving up a Falcons power play goal with 5:57 seconds left in the game, making it 4-3 Rams. Unfortunately for East Kentwood, they were hit with a taunting penalty after their score, putting the Rams on the power play. Good, solid, defensive skating combined with some breathtaking saves from junior goalie Taylor Newton was all Rockford needed to seal the victory at Rams 4, Falcons 3. On their last game of […]