47 in 24 series: Roc City Royals
September 2, 2017
The 47 in 24 series will feature an in-depth look into all 47 teams in the NA3HL for the 2017-18 season, with new teams being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 47 in 24 goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all 47 head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2017-18 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2016-17 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 47 in 24 will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
Roc City Royals
2016-17 Record: 17-27-3, 37 pts. (4th in the Northeast Division)
2017 Playoffs: Lost Northeast Division semi-finals to Binghamton Junior Senators, 2 games to 0
Head Coach: Brad Wheeler
2017-18 Division: Northeast
It was the final day of the 2016-17 NA3HL regular season and just one playoff spot remained. The Roc City Royals needed a win in order to keep their season alive. A loss of any kind would end their playoff dream.
Despite being outshot 45-32, the Royals were able to survive and advance. Ian Stahl was spectacular, stopping all 45 shots thrown his way. The team’s best player Brandon Corey scored the only the game’s only goal as the Royals defeated the Syracuse Stampede 1-0. The win vaulted the Royals over the Lockport Express and into the Northeast Division’s final playoff spot.
Although Roc City did not advance past the first round, Head Coach Brad Wheeler thought the season was successful.
“I came in midseason last year so it was a tough situation for all involved. With that being said, we made the playoffs, eventually losing to Binghamton, a Silver Cup semi finalist. I realized how resilient our local kids are, winning the last two games of the regular season to become playoff bound,” said Wheeler.
Now with a fresh start, Wheeler wants to turn to the youth to turn the program around.
“To start this year we are looking to turn this program into a place young talent wants to play. Increasing the number of practices including a weight program within our ice facility,” explained Wheeler. “High intensity skill based practices, video review and doing our best to move kids on to the next level.”
Wheeler will be returning a few players but none more important than Brandon Corey. The Rochester, New York native scored an NA3HL single-season record 61 goals last season, breaking the previous record of 56 scored by Brett Gravelle of the North Iowa Bulls in 2015-16.
To put Corey’s impact on the offense into perspective, the Royals as a team scored 154 goals throughout the regular season, meaning Corey accounted for about 40% of Roc City’s offense.
“We are a young team with a lot of inexperience at the junior level. I will say, they are eager, have a lot of energy and willingness to learn and get better,” said Wheeler.
The Royals had one player move on to the NCAA as defenseman Aiden Connolly will be playing Division 3 hockey for SUNY Morrisville.
Roc City is very active in Rochester, New York community as the team does a lot of work with the Monroe County Youth Hockey Association.
“We work development clinics, learn to skate and other opportunities within the program,” added Wheeler.
The Royals will kick off their season on Saturday September 16th when they host the Southern Tier Xpress at Lakeshore Hockey Arena.
Next up in the 47 in 24 series: Rochester Ice Hawks