The Rampage Varsity and the Rampage 16u hockey teams began their hockey seasons this past weekend with lots of questions but high expectations, playing traditional powerhouses Montgomery Bell Academy and the Bloomington High School Blades for the Varsity team and the Dayton Stealth JV team for the Rampage 16u team. Both Rampage teams fought hard and gave notice that the Rampage tradition of competing with the best continues.
In what has become an exciting rivalry tradition, the Rampage Varsity faced our annual opponent, the Big Red Montgomery Bell Academy, in a doubleheader on Saturday September 14th. MBA is year in and year out one of the elite, premiere Nashville teams and they didn't disappoint this year. Both teams demonstrated ferocious defensive play and solid goalie play as the first period came to end with the score knotted at 0-0. MBA struck early in the second with a goal at the 13:16 mark and then again at the 7:32 mark. A decisive goal at the 1:12 mark of the second period gave MBA the momentum as the third period began. Leading 3-0 MBA knew they weren't leaving without a fight as the Rampage dug in and fought off the talented Big Red until MBA knocked in a power play goal with 5:50 to go in the game. Seeming to be out of reach with a 4-0 deficit, junior forward Tomas Burke knocked in the Rampage's lone goal at the 3:47 mark. The Rampage lost 4-1 but it was a hard fought win for the MBA Big Red.
The second game of the doubleheader was a defensive battle throughout the game. MBA struck first in the first period at the 7:57 mark. The Rampage defense held MBA from scoring again until the 3:24 mark of the second period. The score remained 2-0 until junior Erik Whited knocked in a goal with just 3:47 to go in the game. Trailing 2-1, momentum swung in Owensboro's favor and senior Josh Ratusny knocked in a goal with just 2 minutes and 8 seconds to go to tie the game. Big mo was on our side, however, two penalties stiffled the momentum leaving your Rampage to try to hold off the MBA with just three men on the ice for the last 1:27 seconds of the game. The Rampage defense stood tall and almost pulled it off, however, with just 9 seconds to go, MBA sealed the deal, giving your Rampage a heartbreaking loss, 3-2.
In game three of the first weekend of play, traditional Indiana powerhouse Bloomington High School Blades invaded our Edge Ice Center, looking to take home a win. The Owensboro Rampage had other plans for the Bloomington Blades. From the first drop of the puck, everyone in the stands and the players' box knew it was going to be an intense and physical game. The hits came hard and often from both the Rampage and the Blades. After one period of play, nothing had been decided as the score remained 0-0. At the 9:14 mark of the second period senior Josh Ratusny ignited the crowd with a goal, assisted by juniors Thomas Burke and Elijah Howard to give the Rampage a 1-0 lead. Two minutes later Bloomington evened it up on a power play goal at the 7:02 mark. It remained 1-1 until junior Wesley Bowlds scored off a great assist from freshman Branson Link at the 2:39 mark of the second period to give the Rampage the lead again at 2-1. Bloomington, however, wasn't done. A mere 24 seconds later Bloomington evened it back up at 2-2. The score remained 2-2 until13:38 remained in the game when senior Baxter Brown tipped in a slapshot from junior Max Holder to once again give the Rampage the lead, 3-2. Your Rampage held off the Blades once again but with 8 minutes and 15 seconds to go in the game, the Blades tied it up for the last time at 3-3. The last eight minutes were intense, physical, and exciting as both teams tried to break the tie, however, the game ended in a 3-3 tie.
The Rampage 16u team travelled to Dayton, Ohio to start their season playing the defending Ohio Scholastic Hockey League defending regular season title holders from last year, the Dayton Stealth JV team. Dayton won all but four regular season games last year and looks to repeat this season, however, a stout, eager and talented Owensboro Rampage 16u had other ideas. In the first game on Sunday September 15th, the Stealth won a close match, 4-2. Dexter Hill and Hunter Lahecka punched in goals to keep it close. The Rampage, with a short bench but a bench full of heart and talent, rose to the challenge in the second game forcing a 4-4 tie and giving notice to everyone that these Kentucky kids fight until the final buzzer. Sam Holder had two goals, Quinn Burke scored one goal and Hunter Lahecka scored his second goal of the day, one goal in each game today.
Both your Rampage Varsity and your Rampage 16u face off against Father Ryan HS (TN) Varsity and JV teams at the Edge Ice center. The hockey season is off and running. Go Rampage!!!