By Jim Smith
Portage Sports Correspondent
“Play hard, play smart and stay out of the penalty box,” is the message Kent Roosevelt ice
hockey head coach Brad Edwards has been sharing with his team as they skate toward the finish of their regular season.
The Rough Riders will attempt to extend their two-game winning streak and head into the Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League (GCHSHL) Baron Cup postseason tournament with positive momentum.
As a result of the OHSAA limiting ice hockey to a single division in the state tournament, the reality is the majority of GCHSHL teams consider the Baron Cup to be their team’s final realistic chance to win a postseason event.
Edwards reminds his team that they need to “just get in the Baron Cup,” because, he acknowledges, “anything can happen once you get in.”
The coach added that he wants his squad to be, “Clicking on all cylinders as we head toward the end of the season.”
Included among the four remaining games is a Blue East Division affair with Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (CVCA), a familiar foe of the Rough Riders.
The teams have faced off on four occasions this season, with the Royals holding a 3-1 margin in victories. Two of the four contests were settled by a single-goal difference.
To date, Roosevelt has earned a 13-10-3 overall record and are 4-4-1 in the Blue East. Keys to the team’s success include the players’ willingness to accept the team’s system and each of their individual responsibilities to the team.
“We have guys that have bought into the system of moving the puck around and it’s been
tremendous,” Edwards said. “Our big message is getting secondary assists.
“Each and every person on the team has a role and they believe in one another, and the coaches believe in them,” added Edwards.
Impressively, eight of the 16 skaters rostered have achieved double-digits in total points this season and sophomore Alex Simms leads the team with 28 points via 10 goals and 18 assists.
Alex’s brother Brad, a junior, has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) as does sophomore Alex Geist (12 goals, 10 assists).
In fact, four of the top eight scores are sophomores. Freshman Teddy Maccarone has also earned his way onto that list of double-digit performers.
Said another way, if those underclassmen continue with that level of on-ice production, the future is bright for the Rough Riders.
Goaltender Brooke Binder continues to provide the Rough Riders with solid performances in the net.
Binder has a .887 save percentage and 2.76 goals against average. She has logged 1,175 minutes of play as Roosevelt’s only rostered goaltender.
Binder has “thrived through the adversity” of being the lone goaltender on the team, according to Edwards.
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