The Ice Rams collapse on a Grandville player in action earlier in the season. ~ Photo by Sheila Bach
GRAND RAPIDS - The Rockford Rams Varsity Hockey Club had a pair of OK Rue league games on the schedule last weekend. The Friday, Jan. 25 game vs. West Ottawa was cancelled due to weather. This game will be made-up later this season. On Saturday, Jan. 26, the Ice Rams traveled to Griff’s Georgetown to battle the Grandville Bulldogs.
Looking for the season sweep of OK Rue rival Grandville, Rockford entered Griff’s Georgetown feeling confident. The Rams came away with the 5-4 victory, but the contest was a back-and-forth affair.
The Ice Rams jumped out to an early lead as Dan Sokol (assisted by Kevin Healy and Cade Baumgardner) went top-shelf just 2 minutes into the game. Late in the first period Rockford took a 5-minute major penalty and Grandville capitalized. The Bulldogs tied the game with a powerplay goal late in the opening session to tie the score 1-1.
Early in the second period Grandville netted another powerplay goal to take a 2-1 lead. The Rams would respond. Baumgardner (assisted by Healy and Cody Smith) tucked the puck into the net to make it 2-2 just three minutes into the middle session. Rockford regained the lead as Kyle Switzer (assisted by Baumgardner and Healy) netted a powerplay goal at the 5-minute mark of the second period. Grandville would not go away quietly, scoring two more goals before the second stanza came to an end.
Trailing 4-3 at the beginning of the third period, Rockford came out determined. Just 33 seconds into the final session Healy (assisted by Baumgardner and Sokol) knotted the game at 4-4. Strong play at all ends of the ice kept the game tied until Aidan Hoffman (unassisted) took the puck end to end to net the game-winner with less than six minutes to go. In the final minute Grandville would pull their goalie for the extra attacker but they were unable to score the equalizer. When the final horn sounded, the scoreboard read Rockford 5, Grandville 4.
The Ice Rams move to 13-4 on the season (7-1 in OK Rue divisional play). Next up, Rockford hosts Dearborn Divine Child for a 3 p.m. matinee tilt on Saturday, Feb. 2. This contest will be played at Cedar Rock Sportsplex. All Rockford students will be admitted free with student ID. On Wednesday, Feb. 6, the Rams travel to Patterson Ice Center to battle Forest Hills Northern/Eastern. Puck drop is slated for 8 p.m.
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