VIRGINIA — It wasn’t a full game, but after two periods on the ice for the Rock Ridge boys’ hockey team, things are looking pretty good.
The Wolverines faced off with Greenway Tuesday night in the Iron Range Conference Jamboree. Playing at the brand new Iron Trail Motors Event Center, Rock Ridge looked sharp as they outscored the Raiders 4-0 in two periods of action.
The two periods were bookended by goals from Brant Tiedeman, who scored unassisted in the first period and was assisted by Ryder Gerulli late in the second period.
Nick Troutwine picked up the second goal for the Wolverines early in the second period and was assisted by Keegan Ruedebusch. Kasey Lamppa had the Wolverines third goal. He was assisted by Gerulli and Derik Dahl.
Rock Ridge goalie Ian Kangas put in two periods of work in front of the net and stopped all 11 shots he faced.
On Kangas’ outing, first year head coach Ben Johnson complimented the veteran goalie on his strong performance.
“He played solid. He’s a hard worker, a leader and a senior. We know he’s someone that we can use but also all of our goalies are good. If something happens, we’re excited to have the problem of having too many good goalies right now.”
Johnson said the jamboree was a good experience for his squad and just one of many things that will help them prep for their season opener next week.
“Coming in and having this little mini-game was pretty awesome,” Johnson said. “Greenway is good. They exposed us on some stuff which is what we wanted. Now we know what to work on. I’m definitely happy with how our guys competed tonight. I think it’s just a little sneak peak of what’s to come and it’s nice to know what we have to work on right away.”
With a number of practices and scrimmages under their belt already, Johnson says that the first few weeks have been all about the team finding its chemistry and seeing who works well with who.
“We’re just getting to know everybody at this point and finding that right chemistry. It’s the start of the season and guys are still learning each other’s names still. But they’re getting it and they’re working hard. All the stuff we need is there. Now we’re just honing in on our system and finding the right mix of guys.”
Being a new coach on a brand new team, Johnson says there have been some challenges as the season gets started but the combination of the Virginia and Eveleth-Gilbert programs has been great so far.
“It’s definitely been a bit of a challenge but it’s also exciting and fun. I think the boys feel the same way. There’s a mix of everyone in the community on the team. It doesn’t feel one sided so it’s good to have all the guys here. They’re a team already. They’ve been jelling together and we’re happy with that so far.
Rock Ridge will open their season on Tuesday when they travel to Greenway. The Wolverine’s home opener is set for Tuesday, Dec. 14 against Duluth Denfeld.
GHS 0 0 — 0
RR 1 3 — 4
1, R, Brant Tiedeman (unassisted), 5:02.
2, R, Nick Troutwine (Keegan Ruedebusch), 4:40; 3, R, Kasey Lamppa (Ryder Gerulli, Derik Dahl), 10:20; 4, Tiedeman (Gerulli), 12:22.
Penalties-Minutes: Greenway 1-2, Rock Ridge 1-2.
Goalie saves: Nathan Jurgansen, G, 9-x—9; Ethan Ambuehl, G, x-5—5; Ian Kangas, R, 6-5—11.