The Rockets Hockey Club are back for another season with every intention of being a force from wire to wire. This year, the team has a new coach and some new faces on the roster. They’re looking to build on last season’s success and take things to the next level.
With each new season there comes differences between the team to years prior. For the Rockets, the biggest change will be seen on the coaching staff. With last year’s head coach Jason Kersner moving on to the head coach position for USHL Sioux City, the Rockets have hired Jared Kersner to take over the team from his brother.
Being a new coach to the team and league, there’s many things that he’s expecting of the team, one of those being to keep the competitiveness that they have shown in past seasons. Jared Kersner is very eager for his team’s season to start, and start it does on Saturday against the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders.
“We are a very strong team that has great depth in all aspects. We have lost to the Hitmen the last two years in the finals and semifinals. I see ourselves battling against them again this year,” added Kersner.
The Rockets’ captain is third-year player Barron Woodring.
“Players like him make things very easy for a new coach in the league,” added Kersener. “He is committed to [NCAA Division I] Army and a natural born leader, and last year he was a top five leading scorer.”
Along with Woodring the Rockets will have Cam Bergeman, Cade Baker, and Jack Barbro to help lead the players throughout the season.
Additional top returning players are forwards Cade Baker and Cam Bergeman. Baker joined the season last year at the trade deadline and Bergeman was a big part in the scoring of last year’s team.
On defense they are returning Jack Barbro and the team has two new goaltenders.
“Zackary Ferris and Chase Hale, both with incredible depth at their position,” added Kersner, of his new goalies.
The Rockets also have Jack Slayton and Nick Del Gaizo on the roster. These athletes have moved up through the Rockets organization. Slayton, an ‘03, was a top scorer with the 18U Rockets last year, while Del Gaizo is an ‘04 from Basking Ridge, N.J., who has spent basically his whole career with the Rockets organization.
“As a new coach to the team, I am really excited to be working with this group of players,” added Kersner. “We have a strong returning core. We have some great new additions – Caden Cranston from Buffalo Premier is a player I am excited about. He has looked great in the pre-season.”