‘Riders look ahead to spring with anticipation
As the curtain begins to close on its sixth season of operation, the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders Tier I organization is already looking ahead to building on its winning developmental formula in 2015-16 through its upcoming spring program.
“The goal is to give young players the opportunity to experience elite hockey with elite, experienced coaches while training hard and having fun doing it,” said RoughRiders director of hockey operations Derek Robinson. “Each team will focus on challenging and developing the players, physically and mentally; all practices will be structured and high-tempo.”
Each team will also compete in the Chi-Town Shuffle; the tournament will be contested from April 17-19 in Chicago.
The spring program will run from March 28-April 19. Tryouts will be conducted from March 16-22 at the Promenade in Westminster and Boulder Valley Ice in Superior.
The RoughRiders will showcase spring teams at the 2001, ‘02, ‘03 and ‘04/05 birth years with the goal of icing at least one squad per age group, if not two. Practice players will also be selected at each level, and all players will have the chance to train with the RoughRiders staff.
Members of the East Coast Elite League (ECEL), the RoughRiders placed teams at the 14U, 16U American and National and 18U levels during the 2014-15 season and will use the spring program to help identify potential players for next season.
The ECEL is a five-weekend showcase series that provides maximum exposure for its member organizations and their players by competing in top venues against top programs in ideal scouting locations. The RoughRiders hosted one of this season’s events in November.
Outside of the ECEL, the RoughRiders’ Bantam and Pee Wee teams compete across the country in top Tier I tournaments.
– Matt Mackinder