Nick Blankenburg 16′ – Getting a head start on the upcoming 2014-2015 season, Romeo Ice Hockey started playing games earlier than expected. The offseason Varsity Hockey Team, the Macomb Dawgs, is trying out a new pilot program that is not officially part of the RHS program. The Dawgs offseason league competes from August 1st through November 1st. As a part of this program, high school hockey players get the opportunity to play an extra ten to twenty games. This better prepares them for interscholastic gameplay and higher levels of competition.
“Playing against the best of the best all the time isn’t something that you take for granted, playing as the varsity quarterback I experience that all the time,” Paul Hurley ‘16 said. “It’s cool that the hockey players are now playing against the best of the best and I am looking forward to see how they do.”
Qualifying for District competition requires the Dawgs to play at least fifteen games. After the fifteen games, there are two district playoffs in late October. The top two teams in each league will play for a chance to compete in the offseason State Championships in late March, which is after the high school league season. Winning the State Championship would result in a chance to compete in the National Championship, also held in late March. Losing districts will conclude their offseason competition.
“This midget AA team that is comprised of Romeo students, we have a great group of guys that are competing against some of the best players in Michigan,” head coach Adam Krefski said. “I’m excited to see how they measure up. There is no doubt in my mind they could win their district and compete in the state championship in March.”
Most players on the Macomb Dawgs will be playing for Romeo this fall/winter hockey season.
Playing their first game against Eisenhower’s travel team, the Dawgs pulled off a 4-2 win to start the season in early September. They tied the U-18 Lansing Senators 6-6, beat the Troy Sting 3-0, dominated the Saginaw Badgers 15-0, but unfortunately lost to Eisenhower lost 8-7, with a late period goal. The Dawgs also lost to the U-18 Lansing Spartans 5-2, and recently beat Franklin 8-2. Starting the season with a good record, 5-2-1, the pilot program is proving itself beneficial for the Romeo Hockey program and will hopefully continue to do so come the regular season.