Michele Vandervelde

Rockford hockey loses nail biter

March 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Thursday, March 3, the Rockford Rams varsity hockey team traveled to Traverse City to take on the Titans from Traverse City West. The Rams knew it would be a tough game, playing a very good team in their home arena in the second round of the state championship tournament. Many were concerned that a long bus ride would take its toll on the team, but the Rams showed all of us that this would not be the case. Led by the seniors knowing that this could be their last game of their high school career, the Rams came out skating a very aggressive style of play. Rockford got the first great scoring chance, when Thomas Soupal got behind the Titan defense on a full-out breakaway, but the Traverse City goaltender came up with a huge save to keep the game knotted at zero. As the second period began with the score 0-0, the Rams continued to pepper the Titan goalie, and each time they came up empty. This was looking like a game that would come down to the first one to score would get the win. Traverse City West had their chances in the second as well, but Rockford sophomore goaltender Todd Millar came up with multiple solid saves as well. The game continued through the second period to be a tight battle, with both teams getting scoring chances but neither goaltender breaking down. As the buzzer went off for the end of the second period, the score still stood tied at zero. In the third period, it appeared that the momentum had begun to swing the Titans’ way. In the final period, the Rams were outshot by a margin of 11-5. Just three minutes into the third period, Traverse City West put together a flurry of shots on the Rockford goal. The Rockford goaltender was able to get the initial shot as well as the first rebounded shot. But the second shot, bouncing out to a waiting Titan forward, was driven home for the game’s first score. The Rams had fought too hard thus far and were not going to let a one-goal game get them down. They continued to fight through and made every minute count, but a couple of untimely penalties […]

Rockford hockey takes down Crusaders

March 3, 2011 // 0 Comments

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 […]

Rockford hockey fights back, comes up just short of FHN

February 3, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rams battle past Eagles Wednesday night, Jan. 26, Rockford took on the Forest Hills Northern/Eastern (FHN) hockey team as they tried to avenge an earlier season loss. The first period of the game showed that these teams remembered well the battle that they had just six weeks earlier. Both teams came out hitting in what proved to be one of the more physical battles of the tier one season. Forest Hills was the first to get on the scoreboard as a shot from the high slot got through multiple players and, just before Rockford goaltender Jake Rekucki was able to get a pad on it, the puck was redirected into the net. Rockford had a couple golden opportunities on power plays with one of them giving them the two-man advantage, but the Forest Hills goaltender seemed to be there to stop anything on its way to the net. The first period ended with the score at 1-0 Forest Hills. The second period was a great defensive battle on both sides with minimal scoring opportunities for either side, but entertaining hockey to watch either way. Both squads played solid defense with minimal penalties to kill off, which was great to see as well. As the buzzer sounded at the end of the second period, the score remained at 1-0 FHN. The third period was filled with a lot of action but also plenty of trips to the penalty box as well. Less than two minutes into the period, FHN forward Sam Rennaker came out of the corner and put a blistering snap shot that went in just under the cross bar. After a flurry of penalties, including Rockford having to kill off a five-minute major, FHN put up what appeared to be the goal that would seal the deal with just 8:05 left in the third.   The Rams knew that in a game like this, if you put enough pucks on net eventually one will find the back. Just 20 seconds later, on a breakaway, Zach Schwandt converted to put the Rams on the board. Senior defenseman Mike VanderVelde got the assist with a quick outlet pass that got the breakaway started that hit Schwandt right on the tape of his stick in stride. Both […]

Rams hockey bounces back with solid win

January 27, 2011 // 0 Comments

Coming off a game they would like to forget Wednesday, Jan. 19, the Rams came out Saturday night, Jan. 22, against Forest Hills Central (FHC) with something to prove. Both teams started out fast and physical, but Rockford, while killing off the game’s first penalty, saw Nathan Hill get loose on a breakaway and blast a shot through the Ranger goalie’s five hole to put the Rams up 1-0. Less than two minutes later, Rockford put another score on the board when Zach Schwandt buried the puck in the back of the net after a perfect pass through the slot from Austin Cantu. Ben Glass got the rush started on that goal with a great outlet pass to Cantu to start the two-on-one breakaway. With the Rams up 2-0, they continued the pressure on the Rangers when, again, the freshman Schwandt went top shelf on the FHC goalie to go up 3-0. Cantu again got the assist along with Glass. The visiting Rockford crowd was fired up as the Rams left the ice for the first intermission with a three-goal lead. The second period started out with the Rams controlling the puck in the FHC zone for the opening couple minutes. With 14:35 on the clock, Rockford’s Eric Datema fired it home after a great pass from behind the net from Glass and Justin Ullrey. The Rangers finally got on the board after a shot from FHC. Tyler Brewer shot a rocket just to the short side of the Rockford net, which caromed off the glass to a waiting FHC forward, who one-timed it into the net. With 2:51 left in the second, Zach Vandawater bounced one off the leg of a Ranger defenseman into the net. Jacob Smyth got the assist with some gritty work in front of the net to gain possession for the Rams. The final goal of the period came on a breakaway by the very quick Cam Pulling for the Rangers, as he snuck it in five hole on the Rockford goalie, to make the score Rockford 5, FHC 2. Through three periods, Rockford outshot the Rangers 23-12. In the beginning of the final period, neither team seemed to get in an offensive flow as they both traded penalties, which […]

Rockford Varsity hockey splits weekend

December 9, 2010 // 0 Comments

Friday night, Dec. 3, the Rockford varsity ice hockey team took on the Falcons from West Catholic. In a penalty-laden game with a game total of 22 trips to the “sin bin,” each team found it difficult to get into a rhythm. Just 20 seconds into the game, Nathan Hill was checked from behind, sustaining a shoulder injury that knocked him out of the game for the rest of the night. With the Rams already being a team with a short bench, injuries to key players like Hill were not going to make it easy. The Rams were first to get on the board in what turned out to be a high-scoring affair. Ben Glass got his first goal of the night with the assist going to Keegan Knight. Just a few minutes later, Thomas Soupal lit the lamp with helpers from Zack Vandawater and Eric Datema to put the Rams up 2-0. The final tally of the period came from West Catholic, making the score 2-1 going into intermission; the shots on goal were West Catholic 10, Rockford 8. Both teams came out in the second period with scoring on their mind. West Catholic tied it up at 2, followed up shortly by another goal to take a 3-2 lead. The last four minutes of the second period were filled with plenty of scoring action. Soupal got his second and third goals of the night to complete his hat trick with assists coming from fellow senior Mike VanderVelde on one of the goals, while the second Soupal goal was assisted by Zach King and VanderVelde. West Catholic got an unassisted goal from Connor Kelbel for their last goal of the second period. The final minute, when the crowd thought five goals between the two teams would be enough, King blistered one to the back of the net with an assist by Justin Ullery, giving both teams three goals for the period and a score at the intermission, Rockford 5 and West Catholic 4. The final period was dominated by the Rams, with two goals from Glass to complete his hat trick for the night, with assists from King and Ullery. The final Ram goal was scored by Knight, his second for the contest, with […]

1 2 3