Rockford Varsity Hockey Team

Ram icers split in holiday weekend tournament

December 1, 2011 // 0 Comments

After a win and a loss in the previous weekend tournament in Sault Ste Marie, the Rockford varsity hockey team knew that scoring only three goals in two games would need to be improved coming into Kentwood’s Annual Falcon Classic Thanksgiving tournament at Kentwood Ice Arena. Friday night, Nov. 25, Rockford faced the Bucs from Grand Haven. A high-paced first period ended scoreless as Grand Haven outshot the Rams 13-7 with junior goaltender Todd Millar turning away all Grand Haven attempts. One minute into the second period with Grand Haven attacking, the Bucs were first to find the scoreboard. A rebound off Millar’s pad was redirected to a Grand Haven player, who put the puck into the net to put the Bucs up 1-0. A Rockford penalty two minutes later put the Rams at a disadvantage against a solid Grand Haven power play. With only eight seconds left before the penalty expired, the Bucs tallied again with a hard shot from the point past Millar. Penalties continued to send both teams to the penalty box throughout the second period. The Rams took advantage of one of Grand Haven’s infractions with just under seven minutes to play in the period. Rockford junior Nate Hill battled to gain control of the puck to the right side of the Grand Haven goal. A quick shot from a tough angle was enough to catch an unsuspecting goalie off guard, as the puck deflected into the goal and put the Rams back within one. Rockford’s penalty woes continued and, with 36 seconds left in the second period, Grand Haven’s power play struck again. Rockford headed to the locker room down by two goals. Grand Haven’s momentum in the period was apparent, as the Bucs outshot the Rams 18-5 in the second frame. Going into the third period, two things were certain to gain control of this game. Stay out of the penalty box and get shots on goal. A Grand Haven penalty near the midpoint of the final period allowed Rockford to capitalize on the power play. Sophomore Trevor Mills gained control of the puck near the Grand Haven goal line and sent a perfect pass in front of the net to Hill, who sent the puck past Grand Haven’s […]

Rockford hockey splits opening weekend

November 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Rockford varsity hockey team opened up the 2011-2012 campaign with a two-game set in Sault Saint Marie. Rockford is led by their three seniors, Ben Glass, Keegan Knight and Justin Ullrey. Despite having only three seniors on this year’s squad, it is widely believed that Rockford should have what it takes to contend for the OK Conference Tier One title this year. Friday night, Nov. 18, Rockford hit the ice against the Lakeland Eagles. The opening two periods of play saw the Rams controlling both the time of possession and scoring chances. As the second period wound down, the Rockford crowd started to get nervous, as their opponent was able to hang around despite being outplayed, which can certainly be a recipe for disaster. Rockford continued to outshoot the Eagles at a pace of 19-9, but the scoreboard still showed a score of 0-0 at the end of two periods. In the third period, it appeared that the Rams were tired of not converting on their scoring opportunities, as just two minutes into the period, Ullrey put the puck in the net with the assist going to Jacob Smyth. Rockford continued to control the play in the Lakeland zone until about five minutes left in the game, when it appeared that they played more defensively. This allowed the Eagles to put some pressure on the Rams. With 1:30 left in the game, Lakeland got possession of the puck and drove down the middle of the Rockford defensive zone, getting off a quick shot that slipped just inside the left post for the tying goal. It looked like the game was going to go into overtime when, in the final seconds, a Rockford turnover resulted in a two-on-one scoring rush by the Eagles. Rockford junior goaltender Jake Rekucki was inadvertently upended by his own defender, leaving the net open for a shot from about 20 feet out that found the back of the net for a game winner with just 2.7 second left on the clock. It was a heartbreaking loss that certainly caught the Rams by surprise. Shots for the game were Lakeland 14, Rockford 27. One amazing stat from this game was that the Rams beat the Eagles in face-offs to the tune […]

Rockford hockey battles conference champs to end

March 3, 2011 // 0 Comments

Friday night, Feb. 25, the Rockford varsity hockey team took on the Cougars from Grand Rapids Catholic Central in the final regular season finale for both teams. Catholic Central, the top ranked team in the west side of the state, chose this night as their Senior Night celebration. They have a veteran squad this year, as they are graduating 12 seniors, and have had a great season with only one blemish during conference play this year. So this game was going to be a tremendous test for the Rams as they prepare for the post season. It was apparent that the Rams came out wanting to prove that they have improved dramatically since the last time these two teams played. The Cougars are a very quick team, but Rockford was there at every turn to pressure the puck and frustrate the high-powered Cougar offense. About five minutes into the game, one of the very quick Catholic Central forwards did get behind the defense and was able to get on the scoreboard with a quick shot over goaltender Jake Rekucki’s shoulder into the net. Rockford continued to pound away, getting a couple quality scoring chances in the first, but was unable to light the lamp. At the 6:24 mark, Catholic Central went up 2-0 with another great shot into the Rockford net. Both teams traded scoring chances for the rest of the period and went to their locker rooms with the score, Cougars 2 and Rockford 0. Rockford came out in the second, ratcheting up the pressure on the Catholic Central goaltender, but he continued to turn away each of their shots. The game continued the fast pace with both teams displaying a high level of play. Midway through the period, Catholic Central scored an even-strength goal to go up 3-0. The Cougars shortly came back with another goal less than a minute later to go up 4-0. It would have been easy for the Rams to give up at that point. But proudly, Rockford had nothing to do with giving up, and the last few minutes of the second period were controlled by the Rams. It appeared that they had something to build upon going into the third period. Both teams came out in the […]