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Ice Hockey: Roosevelt opens play at DiPaolo Tournament on Friday

Ice Hockey: Roosevelt opens play at DiPaolo Tournament on Friday


By Jim Smith

Portage Sports Correspondent


After the Kent Roosevelt ice hockey players and coaches celebrated the traditional Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, they boarded a bus on Friday morning to travel for more than four hours to participate in what has become a Rough Riders icers’ tradition since 2014: The DiPaolo Memorial Hockey Tournament in Oxford, Ohio.

The tournament is played at the Goggin Ice Center on the Miami University campus and engaging in an event that provides travel experiences for the players is part of the learning encounters of being a student-athlete.

“We are trying to put them (players) in situations where they are hanging out with guys they may not hang out with all the time,” said Roosevelt head coach Brad Edwards, describing the off-the-ice team-building benefits of the trip. “We are trying to promote that brotherhood of everybody together and getting to know one another.

“I think the big premise of this, win, lose or draw — and obviously we want to win the tournament — I just want this to be an experience where our kids grow as teammates and they get to know one another more on a personal level rather than a teammate level,” added Edwards.

On the ice, while Edwards has high expectations for the Rough Riders this weekend, he also has team-development objectives for his squad to accomplish as they ready for a very busy upcoming month of hockey.

“Expectations are that we are going down there to put ourselves in a position to win the tournament,” said Edwards. “I expect us to continue to move the puck the way we moved the puck in the preseason and generate more of an offensive threat.”

Edwards continued, “Clean up our on-ice penalties to minimize the amount of time we are on special teams and just play hard.”

Areas of emphasis for Roosevelt during the tournament are special-team’s play and winning puck battles, according to Edwards.

“We are toying with our first power-play unit. Maybe run one style the first time and coming out in a different style the second time.

“We really want to focus on winning 50-50 puck battles,” Edwards said. “Our goal is puck first, body second. The game has changed into more of a finesse game. You still can play the body, but we’re not trying to be physical off the bat, we want to win those puck battles because we know putting the puck in the net wins games.”

Roosevelt opens tournament round-robin play Friday at 5:10 p.m. against Springboro. On Saturday, the Rough Riders have an 8 a.m. match against Kettering Archbishop Alter and return to the ice 12 hours later to face off against the Miami Jr. RedHawks at 8:10 p.m.

The time of a Sunday morning game will be determined based upon Roosevelt’s round-robin results.

Follow @BlueLineNotes on Twitter for tournament updates and results.



• The DiPaolo Memorial Tournament begins a stretch of 19 games for the Rough Riders prior to the end of 2022. Edwards addressed the challenges associated with the active schedule noting, “We have told the team the importance of getting enough rest, eating the proper foods and going to bed at a specific hour. First and foremost, they are students first and athletes second. We try to instill in them they need to learn how to manage their time.”

• The Rough Riders return to Kent State Ice Arena for the opening game of the Adam S. Hamilton Tournament on Thursday, Dec. 1 against Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy at 7 p.m.

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