The Rockford Rams Varsity Hockey team traveled to Kalamazoo for a pair of games during the weekend of January 23 and 24, and came away with two W’s. Rockford defeated Mattawan 5-3 in the Friday night contest. Rockford dropped Portage Northern 2-1 in the Saturday matinee matchup. Mattawan opened the scoring midway through the opening period. Rockford responded by scoring the next three goals. Brendan Kennedy (assisted by Braden King) and Jarrett Ullrey (unassisted) each netted first period goals. Jacob McNamara (unassisted) scored early in the middle period. Mattawan scored late in the second to trim Rockford’s lead to 3-2 heading into the final stanza. The Rams put the game away by scoring the first two goals in the third. Ullrey netted his second score of the game (assisted by Tanner Vesche) and Vesche closed out the scoring for the Rams (unassisted). Mattawan scored a late goal to make it 5-3. Brendan Coolbaugh played all 51 minutes and recorded the win for the Rams. Saturday’s contest against Portage Northern was a defensive struggle. Both teams scored in the first period, with McNamara netting a short-handed goal for the Rams (assisted by Vesche). The second and third periods saw both teams getting chances, and both netminders standing tall. The game headed into OT with the teams knotted at 1-1. It wasn’t until the final minute of the extra period that McNamara scored the game winner (unassisted). It was his second goal of the game, and like his first goal, the OT winner came on the penalty kill. The two teams battled hard and the Rams came out on top with the 2-1 win. Coolbaugh earned the win for Rockford. The Rams ended the weekend with a record of 12-3-1 overall. Upcoming games for Rockford include three important league contests. The Rams square off against Reeths-Puffer in a midweek match-up on Wednesday, February 11 at Lakeshore Ice Arena in Muskegon. Game time is 7:30pm. The following Wednesday, Rockford hosts East Kentwood at Griff’s Ice House. The February 18 tilt starts at 8pm. On Friday, February 20, the Rams host Forest Hills Central at Griff’s Ice House. Game time for this contest is 8pm.
Rockford Hockey Association
The Rockford Rams Varsity Hockey team continues to roll, despite a rash of injuries. Rockford tied Grandville 2-2 on Friday, January 16 and beat Hudsonville 7-6 in OT on Saturday, January 17. Rockford headed into the Friday night contest against Grandville without forward Brad Dertien who suffered a shoulder injury against Mona Shores a few nights earlier. With Dertien out, the coaching staff knew they would need to juggle lines in order to compete against a tough Grandville Bulldogs squad. Grandville held a 1-0 lead after the first period. In the middle period, both teams scored; John Filipiak netted Rockford’s first goal of the game (with Jarrett Ullrey picking up the lone helper). The second period brought new challenges for the Rams as both Filipiak and Tanner Vesche went to the locker room with game-ending injuries. The Rockford coaches reacted by moving defensemen Ullrey and Nik Baumgardner to forward leaving only four skaters on the blueline for the remainder of the game. Despite the adversity, Rockford responded. Grandville saw their 2-1 lead disappear midway through the third period when Jacob McNamara sniped the game-tying goal into the top left corner (Ullrey and Brandon Perry assisted). The two teams remained scoreless the rest of the period and through the 8-minute overtime session. When the final horn sounded, the scoreboard read Rockford 2, Grandville 2. Ram goalie Brendan Coolbaugh made 29 saves on 31 shots in the tie. All three injured Rockford players were scratched for the Saturday matinee contest against Hudsonville. The coaches responded by again moving Ullrey and Baumgardner up front and going with four defensemen. Rockford started hot, scoring the first four goals of the game. Baumgardner opened the scoring 78 seconds into the contest (unassisted). Brock Johnson scored two (the first assisted by Braden King and the second assisted by King and Perry) and Taylor Edgecomb netted one (assisted by Brendan Kennedy and Connor Foss). Midway through the first Rockford held a 4-0 advantage. Hudsonville, however, would not go quietly. The Eagles responded by scoring the final two goals in the first period and four unanswered goals in the second. After 34 minutes of play, Rockford trailed 6-4. The Rams were energized in the third period, controlling much […]
The Rockford Rams Varsity Hockey team closed out 2014 with an impressive Big Rapids Holiday Tournament championship the weekend of December 19 and 20 on the campus of Ferris State Univesity. On Friday, December 19 the Rams took the ice against Jackson Lumen Christi. After a scoreless first period, Lumen Christi opened the scoring early in the second period. It would be their only goal of the game. The Rams responded a few moments later with the first of five unanswered goals. Tanner Vesche (assisted by Damon Harvey) and Jacob McNamara (assisted by Connor Foss and Vesche) notched second period goals. In the third period Braden King (assisted by Vesche), Vesche (assisted by McNamara and Jarret Ullrey) and John Filipiak (assisted by Harvey) all registered goals. The final score: Rockford 5, Jackson Lumen Christi 1. Goalies Brendan Coolbaugh and Holly Ensley combined for the win. In the tournament championship game on Saturday, December 20, the Rams squared off against the Soo Blue Devils. After spotting the Devils a two-goal lead early in the second period, the Rams got down to business. Foss netted the Rams first goal midway through the middle period (assisted by King and Brock Johnson). A few moments later the Blue Devils got whistled for a 5-minute major penalty, and the Rams capitalized scoring 3 goals during that span. McNamara (assisted by Vesche and Ullrey), Brandon Perry (assisted by McNamara and Jeff Benda) and Matt Baker (assisted by Johnson) each scored on the power play. Late in the second period McNamara notched his second goal of the game (assisted by Vesche) to conclude the scoring. In the end Rockford defeated the Blue Devils 5-2. Coolbaugh recorded the win in this contest. The Rockford coaches were pleased with the performance. “This is only our second championship in the past 10 years in this event,” said Head Coach Ed VanPortFliet. “So it’s a very nice accomplishment. We are proud of the players and the way they battled.” Rockford jumps back on the ice the weekend of January 9 and 10 at the Walker Classic Tournament at Walker Ice & Fitness Center. Rockford squares off in a league game against East Grand Rapids at 6pm Friday night. On Saturday, the Rams will face either Kenowa […]
Winter sports, ice rinks and hockey may be the furthest thing from your mind with our recent heat wave. In spite of our roasting temperatures this summer, Rockford Hockey Association (Rams Hockey) is thinking winter, snow and ice hockey right now in both planning for their 2012-13 season, and with recent exciting news from USA Hockey. USA Hockey, the national governing body for youth hockey in the United States, recently published yearly findings in their 2011-12 Membership Report. Ram Hockey is climbing the charts in two categories, overall association growth and meeting national challenge goals. In the broad scope of hockey, nationally, there are more people playing hockey this year than last. Additionally, Michigan happens to boast the second largest hockey population in the country. Ram Hockey has been ranked number two overall for growth in the entire state of Michigan. As well, they have been recognized as one of only 11 associations in the state to meet all components of the 2-and-2 Challenge goals. The 2-and-2 Challenge is a comprehensive growth program that guides youth hockey leadership through national programs to realize growth through retention, acquisition and conversion. Rams Hockey Growth Coordinator Tammy Christian said, “Meeting these nationally recognized Challenge goals, and showing an 80 percent increase in overall association growth in our 2011-12 season is remarkable. Our association volunteers are working hard to retain our current membership of families and players, and also find ways to allow the youth in Rockford and our surrounding communities the opportunity to experience the great game of hockey.” Rams Hockey is poised to maintain their growth momentum with goals and initiatives already in place for the 2012-13 season. These will include hosting Try Hockey for Free Day in November, and Learn-to-Skate and Learn-to-Play Hockey programs that will start up in September. Try Hockey for Free Day is a nationally recognized and celebrated program in which youth hockey associations across the country encourage kids ages 4 to 9 to come to a local rink and try out the game free of charge. Rams Hockey’s Learn-to-Skate and Learn-to-Play programs are offered at reasonable prices, are only eight weeks in length, and starter equipment rentals are available. Christian said, “We have recently updated and increased our equipment rental inventories, which […]
Rockford Hockey Association (RHA) is participating in a nationwide event on Saturday, Nov. 5. RHA is sponsoring a “Try Hockey for Free” Day! This is a great time for kids ages 4-9 to experience the sport of hockey. The event will be held at Cedar Rock Sports Plex, with coaches and current players on hand to help teach the kids. The event will run from 9 to 11 a.m. Players will be able to use RHA’s equipment and will receive free jerseys and experience the fun of hockey. Skaters can bring their own skates, gloves or mittens, and bike helmet, too. Please go to www.tryhockeyforfree.com to register.