Year of the Ram: The next step

It’s been more than a month since the Roseau Rams ended their season on a down note at the state championships and the team has understandably moved on.

“We don’t look at the past,” said two-way forward Trevor George, whose summer plans still involve sports. “Right now I’m playing baseball and I’ll probably do a little hockey at camps.”

With about a month of school left, the Rams players still see each other often, but there are no open laments about what could have been on the ice.

“As a team, we tend to keep everything on a low profile at school,” George noted.

While many key contributors to this year’s squad will return next year, others will not. And they are the ones who will be busiest on the ice now.

Star defenseman and Minnesota Mr. Hockey winner Aaron Ness is currently on the other side of the world in Kazan, Russia, wearing the stars and stripes for Team USA’s Under-18 team.

Through three games, Ness has three assists and a plus-1 rating for the Americans, who have one game left against Finland before the playoff round begins.

Ness, along with London Knights (OHL) center Phil McRae, were added to the fabled U.S. National Team Development Program squad – which plays year-round – for some extra skill at the tourney.

And while Ness knows he’s going to the University of Minnesota next season, a couple of his senior teammates – captain Dustin Moser and sniper Ben Nelson – are still looking for suitors.

With that goal in mind, the pair was picked up to play for Team Minnesota at the Chicago Showcase, a tournament developed for college and junior scouts to take a look at high school talent from across America.

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In the first game for the Roseau boys familiarity obviously paid off, as Moser potted two goals and Nelson added a goal and two assists in an 11-3 romp over New York.

Back in Minnesota, another group of Rams were named to Section 8’s Select 17s tournament team. Forward Kevin Erickson, defenseman Ryan Weston and, most intriguing, junior varsity goaltender Allen Mekash got the call.

So while Ness, Moser and Nelson, among others, will be gone, it will be players such as George who will keep the torch burning in Roseau.

“I think we’re going to have another solid team,” George said. “We’ve got some really good bantams coming up and we lost players last year, as well (and still went to state).”

With the pipeline always pumping and players still skating over the summer, it won’t be surprising to see the Rams vying for glory once again next year.

The Hockey News will be following the Roseau Rams high school hockey team every week (every second week during the off-season), chronicling its journey on the road back to the state championship and beyond and providing an inside look at what its like to be a teenager on one of the most fabled varsity teams in America.

Click HERE to read previous Year of the Ram stories.

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