By Art Chill
MAHWAH, NJ – Many changes have been made to the program entering its fifth year of operation. Greg Jensen, who led the team to the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) National Tournament, has stepped down as Head Coach, Coach Jensen expressed regrets about leaving the team, but wanted to spend more time with his family. We wish him well. Last year’s Assistant Coach, Bob Toy takes over the role of Head Coach. Coach Toy brings over twenty-three years of coaching experience from Mites to High School to College. Joining the staff as Assistant Coach is Mike Winters. Coach Winters has coached youth hockey since 2004 for the New Jersey Bandits. In addition, he was Assistant Coach under Bob Toy at Ramsey High School varsity team for 8 years. To round out the coaching staff, Keith Gay has been added as Goalie Coach. While at Ramapo his senior year, Keith helped bring an MCHC championship back to the program and was ranked #3 in the nation for ACHA Division III goaltenders, with 1.76 goals against average and a .932 save percentage that season. He was also named the ACHA Division III player of the month twice. The support staff consists of Art Chill, Director of Hockey Operations, Russ Tricoli, General Manager, Jessica Levine, Assistant GM and director of social media, and Scott Lingle, Team Manager.
Although the Roadrunners reached the ACHA National Tournament for the first time, the team has joined scores of teams in the fledgling Collegiate Hockey Federation (CHF). (The exact number of teams will be announced at a later date. Negations are still in progress with various leagues and conferences.) The reason for the bold move is that the new national association will invest more in governance and day-to-day operation of Division III teams than was our experience with the ACHA. In addition, there will be more input from the membership in the operation of the conference and benefits will be equally distributed across all levels of play. Our schedule remains largely unchanged as all the teams we play also joined the CHF. Since about a third of our games are against Empire Collegiate Hockey Conference ECHC) teams, we have joined the ECHC along with Fordham and Hofstra to form a strong top tier 8 team league.
The Roadrunners open the 2019-20 campaign against arch-rival Fordham at Ice Vault on 9/21/19 at 8:30 PM. With the loss of only once player to graduation and addition of top recruits, Ramapo is set-up this year to take it all the way.