Kent Roosevelt Rough Riders' Grootegoed, Manning earn White Division All-League hockey honors

By Jim Smith | Special to the Record-Courier Published:

After performing integral roles during Kent Roosevelt ice hockey team's recently completed regular season, junior goalie Nate Grootegoed and senior forward Kyle Manning received 2012-2013 White Division All-League Team recognition from the Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League.

Grootegoed was named to the First Team, while Manning received Second Team honors in a ceremony held prior to the Baron Cup II championship game on Sunday afternoon at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center in Brooklyn.

The Rough Rider goaltender stopped 256 of the 281 shots he faced in league play for a save percentage of .911 in an extremely competitive 2012-2013 White East Division. Grootegoed's goals-against average was an impressive 2.419 per game.

Overall, in 30 games played, Grootegoed had a save percentage of .895 -- 725 saves on 810 shots faced -- and a goals-against average of 2.75 per game.

"The one thing about Nate is that he is progressing every year," said Kent Roosevelt coach Ben Barlow. "He was really big for us this year and I am really excited about the future. He has been playing his best hockey at the end of the season. It's a honor well-deserved."

The last Roosevelt goaltender to achieve All-White All League Team, First Team honors was Craig Butler in the 2005-2006 season.

In what Barlow described as "a big year statistically for Kyle," Manning earned 69 points on 38 goals and 31 assists overall. He scored seven power-play goals and averaged 2.09 points per game.

In the 10-game GCHSHL schedule, Manning netted six goals while assisting on nine in accumulating 15 points for an average of 1.5 points per game.

"Night in and night out, Kyle puts the puck in the net and scores some highlight goals," said Barlow of the Rough Riders' senior captain. "He is a pleasure to watch. When Kyle has the puck on his stick, he is a dangerous player. Opponents' coaches and players have to account for him when he is on the ice.

"He has led the way for us in the locker room and on the ice, leading by example. He has had one heck of a high school career."

The Rough Riders begin play in the Ohio High School Athletic Association postseason ice hockey tournament Thursday at 8 p.m., when they open Kent District Tournament play at the Kent State University Ice Arena against the Kenston Bombers.

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