Rocky Rams continue bulding team
By Tyler Klinkhammer
The Junior B Rocky Rams Hockey Club continues to build after a tough loss in its pre-season opener in Leduc on Sept. 8.
Although the shooting was fairly even between the two teams, the Leduc Riggers were able to come away from the game victorious, with a final score of 8-2.
Even though the loss was substantial, head coach Clint Robinson said he was impressed with the level of play the Rams brought to the table.
“It was close. I feel like we actually outplayed them for probably 50 minutes, but some bad bounces and bad breaks—basically in that league if you have a bad breakdown the puck ends up in the back of your net,” said Robinson. “They had some really skilled guys and they made it count.”
“There was a lot of positive stuff last night, we just have to work on limiting the breakdowns,” he added.
Although the official tryouts have ended, the Rams will continue to build over the next few months. As other teams make cuts and players are looking for a home for the season, Robinson said he’s still getting calls from interested parties.
The tryouts, Robinson said, “are ongoing right now. We’re getting calls from other goalies, other players.”
An interesting rule in the Heritage B league is the “over 21 rule.” Twenty-one is the age cap for the league, and any player who begins a season at the age of 20, must play with the same team at the age of 21, unless they move to an expansion team like the Rams. At the same time, teams are only able to retain four 21-year-olds on its roster. Robinson said he knows of a few “very skilled” 21-year-olds who may lose their spots in the coming weeks, and he’s hopeful that the Rams could offer a spot to them if they get cut from their current teams.
“Luck is kind of on our side with this,” Robinson said.
The Rams can technically field a roster of 35 players until Dec. 10, at which point they will have to lean the group down to 25, and then to the final 23 by Jan. 10, 2020. Robinson said he’s looking to make those cuts by the end of September, so players will have a chance to try out elsewhere if they’re not successful in Rocky.
“We’ve got a lot of time to have movement,” he said. “Every week it’s getting better.”
The Rams pre-season continues this week with two games on Sept. 14 and 15.
The Rams will not be playing any of their pre-season games at home, but hockey fans will be able to catch all of the action of their first home game on Sept. 28, against the Ponoka Stampeders.