Rockford Rams Varsity Hockey Team

Rams hockey parks Rangers, slays Dragons

January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

It was good week for the Rockford Rams varsity hockey team. Wednesday, Jan. 18, they took on the Forest Hills Central Rangers. Just over five minutes into the first period, with the Rams on a power play, junior Cam Bathum lasered one past the Ranger goalie, who was well screened for the first Ram goal. Junior Jacob Smyth got the assist. The second period began and less than two minutes into the period, junior Austin Cantu forced one past the goalie’s glove to go up 2-1 with the assist going to Bathum. Rockford successfully killed off a few penalties, including a five-on-three, to preserve the lead with junior goaltender Jake Rekucki making some key saves along the way. Just before the end of the second, senior Ben Glass took advantage of a turnover with a nice fake on the goaltender to put it in the back of the net. Rams were up 3-0 at the second intermission. As everyone knew, Forest Hills Central (FHC) was not going to give up, despite being down 3-0. Rockford continued to be battling penalties, but with one of the best penalty-killing teams on the west side of the state, they successfully killed them all. Midway through the third period, the Rangers finally got one on the board. Rockford played solid defense the rest of the way to secure the win. Rekucki earned a great win, stopping 29 of 30 shots. Three days later, Rockford took on one of the top teams from the east side of the state, the Lake Orion Dragons. Playing without one of the Rams’ top forwards, junior Nate Hill, due to injury, the Rams knew they would have their hands full against a team like Lake Orion. Just three minutes into the first period, the Rams made their first statement with senior Keegan Knight driving home the goal off a rebound with Smyth and senior Justin Ullrey getting the assists. The first period ended with the Rams up 1-0. Rockford came out looking to put more daylight between them and the Dragons, as they were able to mount a scoring chance at just two-and-a-half minutes into the period. This time it was Ullrey converting on the play with an assist going to junior Nick Larsen. […]

Rockford hockey sinks Sailors

January 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

Wednesday night, Jan. 11, the Rockford Rams varsity hockey team took on the Mona Shores Sailors in a game that would be a rematch from a game last year, where the Rams were embarrassed on the ice. This year’s team was seeking retribution as not one of them had forgotten that night. In the first period, it was obvious that the Rams had come to play with a new jump in their step, playing fast and physical. Early in the game, junior Nate Hill sustained an injury that forced him to miss the remainder of the game. This seemed to get the rest of the team to rally and step it up a notch, as they knew without one of their top players this night would be an even bigger challenge. Mona Shores was able to get on the board first with five minutes left in the first period. However, just 11 seconds later, Rockford junior Stephen Shira scored the game-tying goal and both teams went into the locker rooms with the game tied at 1-1. The Rams outshot the Sailors in the first, 10-8. In the second period, the Rams came out and made the most of their scoring opportunities. At the 4:30 mark, junior Michael Moroney got the go-ahead goal with assists going to junior Austin Cantu and senior Ben Glass. The Rams went into the second intermission up 2-1 and feeling that they have what it takes to take down the Sailors. In the third period, the Rams were determined to put a little breathing room between them and Mona Shores. At 4:50 into the period, junior Jacob Smyth scored an unassisted goal to put the Rams up by two goals. Midway through the period, Glass scored what appeared to be the fourth goal of the game, but the referees ruled that they had blown the play dead, so the goal was not counted. With about four minutes left in the game, Mona Shores was able to get a goal that brought them to within one, and it looked like the last few minutes would be a nail-biter. Less than a minute later, Ram senior Justin Ullrey was able to capitalize on a turnover and went one-on-one with the Sailors’ goaltender for […]

Rockford varsity hockey begins 2012 in tournament action

January 12, 2012 // 0 Comments

The Rams varsity hockey team played their final games of 2011 in the annual Big Rapids Holiday Invitational on December 28 and 30, and kicked off the New Year with the annual Walker Classic on January 6 and 7. Rockford’s icers drew Jackson Lumen Christi (JLC) for the first game of the Big Rapids tournament. First period saw the Titans of JLC strike first only 1:26 into the period. Rams junior Austin Cantu answered less than three minutes later to tie the score at one. Assisting on the goal went to junior Stephen Shira and sophomore Trevor Mills. Second period action started much like the first. Just 1:47 into the period, the Titans found the scoreboard. Five minutes later, a JLC penalty gave the Rams a man advantage. Unfortunately, the Titans scored two short-handed goals in a 15-second time span to give them a 4-1 lead. During the same penalty, 27 seconds later, Rockford junior Jacob Smyth answered with a goal to put the Rams within two goals. Junior Nate Hill was credited with the assist. The Titans continued to roll with a late-period goal to go up 5-2. The lone third-period goal was scored by the Titans in similar fashion to the first and second periods. At 1:29 into the period, the sixth and final goal of the game gave JLC the lead they needed for the win. The Rams outshot the Titans 27-25 for the game. In the consolation game, Rockford outlasted tournament host Big Rapids Cardinals to a 5-4 win for their final game of 2011. Enter 2012 and the annual Walker Classic at Walker Ice and Fitness Center. Rockford faced Grandville for the second league game of the season. The Bulldogs had redemption in mind to avenge the previous loss to the Rams. At 6:44 into the first period, Rockford began their quest to deny Grandville any redemption. Hill was the first to find the netting with a feed from junior defenseman Cam Bathum. Junior goaltender Todd Millar turned away all Bulldog shots for the period. Grandville started the scoring in the second frame nine minutes into the period to tie the game at one. With 31 seconds to play in the period, junior Jacob Smyth received a perfect pass that […]

Rams fall to state champion Catholic Central

December 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

Saturday afternoon, Dec. 17, the Rockford Rams varsity hockey team hit the ice to take on the defending state champion, Grand Rapids Catholic Central Cougars. The Rams knew it would be a battle facing the undefeated Cougars, and it certainly was. The Cougars came out with their fast-paced style of play and for a while the Rams had trouble dealing with getting the puck out of their own zone. Less than five minutes into the game, Catholic Central (CC) got on the board to give them a 1-0 lead. Both teams played an aggressive yet clean first period with only one penalty, which was on the Rams. The score at the end of one was CC 1, Rockford 0. In the second period, the Rams picked up the intensity to match that of the Cougars and had a great opportunity for a goal when Ben Glass passed to the front of the net to Austin Cantu, but his shot was blocked just in time to save the puck from going in the net. CC got on the board again in the second to put them up 2-0 with 13 minutes left in the period. With 8:36 left in the second, Rockford was fortunate to be on a five-on-three power play, but unfortunately was unable to convert. Late in the period, with the Cougars up 2-0, CC was awarded a penalty shot. All eyes were on the exciting duel between CC’s captain Donald Sund and Rockford’s junior goaltender Todd Millar. Sund skated down and tried to stuff the puck in low glove side, but Millar denied him. Seconds later, the officials got together and decided to award CC another penalty shot because Millar had left the crease early. The second attempt had Sund barreling down on the Rockford goal, this time trying high glove side and again he was denied. The crowd went wild on the Rockford side and it looked like this might be the momentum changer. Both teams went to their locker rooms for the second intermission with CC up 2-0. The third period had the Rams finishing up a power play. Just 10 seconds into the period, the Cougar goaltender mishandled the puck behind the net and Rockford junior Jacob Smyth got quick […]

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 […]

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