Redemption. That is what Ramsey was looking for in this year’s state championship after losing in the championship game the last two years. However, this year was a different story for the Rams as they were easily able to get the monkey off their back 5-1 over Glen Rock.
“We were definitely hungry,” said Ramsey goalie Tyler Harmon. “With 14 seniors on our team, we knew this was our last game together. Everybody was motivated.”
The Rams showed how hungry they were early in the game with two goals from one of their top scorers Kyle DeBel, who had 30 goals and 56 assists going into the championship.
“I knew I would do my part and that the team just had to keep Glen Rock off the board,” said DeBel. “I have faith in my teammates behind me that they’ll keep the other team off the board and do my part scoring.”
With 10:59 to go in the second period, Eric Spada made this a close game for Glen Rock by getting them on the board. However, Ramsey shut down any momentum from that just 28 seconds later courtesy of Greg Botz with an assist from DeBel.
“I looked at the bench after that goal and saw my guys were starting to go down so I knew we needed to get a quick goal back to lift the spirits,” noted DeBel. “Who knows how the game would have gone if we didn’t get that goal there.”
If that was not enough, Anthony Steffe joined the show for Ramsey with two goals of his own, the first of which was assisted by DeBel once again. These gave the Rams a 5-1 lead and put the game out of reach.
Glen Rock was going for their first state championship in school history and while Ramsey has been here the last two years, they have not been here before with new head coach Dean Portas.
“This was a group that was hungry already, they just needed me to help guide them a little bit,” noted Portas. “They knew what they wanted. You didn’t have to tell them much to get them motivated.”
“He (Portas) fired us up,” added Harmon. “He’s so tactically prepared and does a great job scouting teams. He deserves that win.”
Ramsey not only won with a new head coach getting redemption, they also won the state championship as a low fourth seed with them being underdogs for some of their journey.
“I felt they did us wrong,” said DeBel. “I thought we were a better team than a four seed. That was personal motivation to go out and play the game that we played.”
With 14 seniors graduating, it may be tougher for Ramsey to get back here but in the right hands, the Rams will try their best to make another run.
“It’s a challenge to get here every year, noted Portas. “We’re going to be re-loading next year but if these kids play hard, anything is possible.”