A Historic Season For Rochester United Hockey


Photo credit: Lyne Ebinger.

Senior player Marcello Monaco hitting Junior player Caden Ebinger a Catholic Central player.

Maverick Falconer, Staff Writer

Groundbreaking history was made by this season´s Rochester United hockey team.

Rochester United (RU) is a high school hockey team whose players consist of Rochester and Rochester Adams high school athletes. Their 2018-2019 regular season  and playoff run was impressive, and they are likely to go down as one of the best RU teams in history. The team ended their regular season with a record of 24-4 in the OAA Red Division. Key wins over teams like Clarkston, Byron Center, and two wins against their rival, Stoney Creek, were crucial to their historic season. After playing Clarkston for a second time, and beating them in a double-overtime thriller, they were destined for a deep playoff run.

Although having an extremely good record, and winning their division title, RU had a tough matchup against the OAA White Division champions, Eisenhower (Ike) Eagles huh?, in the first round. Coming into the game thinking it would be a hard-fought battle changed when RU was crushing Ike 3-0 in the second period, and completely dominating them. The game ended 3-0, and RU moved on to play Port Huron, who they completely destroyed 17-0. The third round was against Macomb Dakota, who they lost to 2-0 earlier in the season, which made this game up for grabs. The game was neck-and-neck for the first few minutes until Dakota scored a lucky goal, which fired up RU. RU went on to score four goals in a row, with the final score of 4-2 moving them to the fourth round against Orchard Lake Saint Marys. Both of these teams were capable of winning this game, but RU wanted it more. RU scored the first goal of the game but was quickly awkward responded to by Saint Marys with a goal of their own. After Saint Marys began playing cheap, they were given two big penalties, leading to RU scoring two more goals, making it 3-1 at the end of the second period. The game seemed like it would end in a big win for RU, until RU scored on their own goal. The own goal was then followed by another Saint Marys goal, making it 3-3 at the end of regulation, leading to overtime. About three minutes into overtime, RU had a fast break, scored a top left shot, and ended up winning the game 4-3. This sent them to state semifinals against Detroit Catholic Central (CC), the best ranked team in the state.

Photo Credit: Lyne Ebinger
Junior player Caden Ebinger after scoring a goal.

¨Making it to the state semifinals was almost surreal; that is one game I always dreamed that I would get to play in and although losing the game, it was still one of the best experiences of my life,¨ said Adams senior Domenico Munaco.

Catholic Central (CC) came into the game as if it were practice, and RU could not get the puck no matter what they did. CC scored the first goal, but RU had a fast break and tied the game 1-1. Soon after that, CC scored another goal and starting the third period at 2-1. RU came out playing well, tying the game 2-2. Catholic Central quickly scored a lucky goal, and it was 3-2 toward the end of the third. CC scored a last minute shot, ending the game 4-2.

¨Even though we lost in the semifinals, this was still my favorite and best season of hockey in my life. I’m also hoping that next year will live up to what we accomplish this year,¨ said Adams junior Caden Ebinger.

Although RU had hopes of winning the state title, they still had a great and exciting season. They brought new hope to a dying hockey program, and for another contender team in the future. Thank you, RU!