CONGRATULATING THE ROMEO BULLDOGS HOCKEY TEAM ON WINNING THE DIVISION 2 MICHIGAN STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
(Extensions of Remarks - March 21, 2016)

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[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 44 (Monday, March 21, 2016)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E347]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




CONGRATULATING THE ROMEO BULLDOGS HOCKEY TEAM ON WINNING THE DIVISION 2 
                      MICHIGAN STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

                                 ______
                                 

                         HON. CANDICE S. MILLER

                              of michigan

                    in the house of representatives

                         Monday, March 21, 2016

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, it is my distinct privilege to 
recognize a special achievement recently accomplished by the Romeo 
Bulldogs High School Hockey Team. Romeo capped off a remarkable and 
extremely memorable 2015-2016 season by taking home to Macomb County 
the school's first ever Michigan High School Athletic Association 
(MHSAA) Division 2 State Championship. After a hard fought season, the 
Bulldogs finished with an overall record of 27-2-1 and charged into the 
playoffs facing off against tough competition before stunning the 
Livonia Stevenson Spartans at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.
  In his second year as head coach, Nick Badder and his team have had 
great success. Last year's team won 20 regular season games for the 
first time in school history and was crowned the regional champion. 
But, Coach Badder and the rest of the team knew they could achieve 
more. There is always a learning curve for head coaches, but Coach 
Badder did not waste much time in turning the Romeo Bulldogs into 
champions. With hockey in his veins from playing NCAA hockey for the 
Central Michigan Chippewas, Coach Badder used both his youth and hockey 
experience to relate and teach the 22 young men to be better players, 
teammates and students. Coach Badder knew he had a fast and physical 
team, but they needed to focus on the details and play a better 
defensive game. All of these attributes came together at precisely the 
right time and the Romeo Bulldogs are now State Champions.
  Before making it to the State Championship game, the Romeo Bulldogs 
faced many competitors in the tournament. The Bulldogs faced a Davison 
team coming off of a 6-0 win over Lapeer and defeated them 8-3 in the 
pre-regional final. Next, Romeo faced Port Huron Northern and beat them 
by a score of 7-1 in the regional final. From there, the Romeo Bulldogs 
faced the Anchor Bay Tars at Suburban Ice Arena and bested them 8-3 in 
the quarterfinal. In the semifinals, Romeo faced a tough Ada Forest 
Hills Eastern team. This was Romeo's toughest test yet, but the 
Bulldogs remained unscathed in the playoffs with a 5-2 victory. With 
their sights on the championship, the Romeo Bulldogs would play in one 
final game and face their toughest challenge of the season. The Livonia 
Stevenson Spartans were now the only team that separated them from 
history.
  The Livonia Stevenson Spartans won the state championship in 2013 and 
finished as last year's runner-up, while the Romeo Bulldogs had never 
appeared in a championship game. The perennial powerhouse Spartans had 
the wind at their backs and history on their side, but history was 
about to change. Seven minutes into the game, Junior forward Brett 
Lanski scored to give Romeo a 1-0 lead. Stevenson scored less than four 
minutes later to even the score. Not long after, Logan Jenuwine scored 
a power play goal to give Romeo a 2-1 lead. In the next five minutes, 
Stevenson would score three goals to take a 4-2 lead. Coach Badder 
decided to call a crucial time out at this point to settle his team and 
slow the pace of the game. This decision proved to be a critical 
turning point in the game. Brett Lanski went on to score his second 
goal of the game, putting the Bulldogs within one shot of a tie. Less 
than a minute later, Luke Kaczor deflected defenseman Logan Ganfield's 
shot to tie the game with a minute and a half left in the period. In 
the third period, Stevenson received a five minute major for head-
butting that put Romeo on a critical power play. The Bulldogs took 
advantage and Logan Jenuwine scored his second of the game giving Romeo 
a 5-4 lead. Steven Morris capped off the comeback victory with an empty 
net goal that sealed the 6-4 victory for the Romeo Bulldogs.
  The Bulldogs throughout the season exhibited all the qualities that 
make up a championship hockey team: heart, discipline and a positive 
attitude. As legendary Hall of Fame Defenseman Paul Coffey once said, 
``Hockey's a funny game You have to prove yourself every shift, every 
game. It's not up to anybody else. You have to take pride in 
yourself.''
  I applaud these young men for remaining both mentally and physically 
ready to compete. In addition, I want to commend the Bulldogs for 
staying energized and focused each time they stepped on to the ice. I 
understand this can be an extremely difficult task considering the 
numerous pressures and distractions high school student-athletes can 
encounter.
  I wish to recognize the hard work and sportsmanship displayed by all 
the members of this hockey team. These individuals are: Harrison Hunt, 
Brett Lanski, Zach Peters, Lorenzo Evangelista, Frank Ruffino, Logan 
Ganfield, Blake Gabler, Jacob Sunderlik, Chase Gillem, Andrew Cate, 
Luke Kaczor, Ryan Peters, Joey Morris, Jake Petri, Dan Geffert, Nick 
Blankenburg, Nolan Kare, Garrett Ganfield, Steven Morris, Max Citro, 
Logan Jenuwine, and Grant Williams along with Head Coach Nick Badder, 
and Assistant Coaches Adam Krefski, Brennan Cavanagh and Kyle White, 
Athletic Trainer Kim Ostrolencki and Manager Kim Gamble.
  I also want to congratulate administrators, teachers, cheerleaders, 
parents, students and fans alike for their assistance and for making 
this an unforgettable season. The Bulldogs proved they had the skill, 
heart and resilience to rise to the challenge and accomplish their 
ultimate goal--a State Championship. Teamwork, perseverance and 
friendship all contributed to this title as well. I know the community 
takes great pride in what these young men were able to achieve.
  In closing, Mr. Speaker, I share that same pride. I want to offer my 
personal congratulations. All the accolades, awards and trophies are 
rightfully deserved. Way to go Bulldogs.

                          ____________________