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Year of the Ram: Defending on all fronts

Mitch Martinson has a goal, six points and is a plus-17 in 19 games with the Rams this season. (Photo by Kim Drown)

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Mitch Martinson has a goal, six points and is a plus-17 in 19 games with the Rams this season. (Photo by Kim Drown)

When Mitch Martinson graduates from Roseau High School this year, his best-case scenario for the future is a spot at the University of North Dakota.

Not on the vaunted Fighting Sioux hockey team, mind you – Martinson is instead trying to get into the school’s aviation program.

After spending Sunday afternoon in snowshoes, rabbit hunting with teammate Kyle Bodell, Martinson revealed that he had enlisted in the Army’s Minnesota National Guard last May and hopes to have a future flying for his country.

“I’ve always been interested in the military,” said the defenseman, who is an excellent plus-17 through 19 games with the Rams this season. “I started talking to recruiters and decided it was something I’d like to do.”

Martinson is in a Recruitment Sustainment Program (RSP), which prepares recruits for basic training.

“That way you somewhat know what you’re doing,” he said.

One weekend a month he travels to an armory in Thief River Falls for Advanced Individual Training (AIT), as well.

If he joins his older brother at North Dakota, he wants to get into the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), which means he would not be deployed before graduation and would come out of school as a second lieutenant.

“You become an officer when you graduate,” he noted. Right now Martinson’s AIT training is in combat engineering, which covers everything from blowing up barriers with C4 explosives to setting up floating bridges for vehicles crossing rivers. But another perk of getting into the ROTC at North Dakota is the school’s helicopter program, which is a dream for the blueliner.

“If I get into that, it would be awesome,” he said.

Ironically, while Martinson hopes to fly for the Army, he keeps his feet on the ground when it comes to hockey. He characterizes himself as a stay-at-home defenseman and often starts the game alongside Aaron Ness, he of 49 points in 19 games, though Martinson usually pairs with junior Ryan Weston for the rest of the contest. As a veteran of last year’s state championship squad, Martinson knows what lies ahead for the top-ranked Rams.

“Last year we started playing really good around this time,” he noted. “We know what we have to do.”

And lately that means taking care of business. The Rams took out lesser lights Crookston and St. Cloud Tech late last week, with Levi Nelson getting the win in net in the first match and Adam Knochenmus tallying three points against Tech.

On Tuesday, the Rams renewed their 60-year-old rivalry with the Warroad Warriors, this time traveling to The Gardens in Warroad for a rematch of an earlier Roseau victory at home. And while Roseau’s 5-2 win in the Jan. 9 game was competitive, the Rams stomped all over the Warriors this week, drubbing them 8-0. Knochenmus had four more points that night while Jason Fabian became the seventh Ram to get into double-digit goal figures with his 10th of the year. Goalie Mike Lee now has seven shutouts and a 1.00 goals-against average in 17 starts.

The Rams are 19-0 with six regular season games remaining.

The Hockey News will be following the Roseau Rams high school hockey team every week, chronicling its journey on the road back to the state championship and providing an inside look at what its like to be a teenager on one of the most fabled varsity teams in America.

Click HERE to read previous Year of the Ram stories.

For more great stories and features like this, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

Previous Days

Year of the Ram: Defending on all fronts

Year of the Ram: Defending on all fronts

by Ryan Kennedy - 2008-01-31 12:15:48

This week in our season-long look at the Roseau high school program, we profile defenseman Mitch Martinson.
When Mitch Martinson graduates from Roseau High School this year, his best-case scenario for the future is a spot at the University of North Dakota.


Year of the Ram: An eye to the future

Year of the Ram: An eye to the future

by Ryan Kennedy - 2008-01-24 13:15:08

The Lincoln Stars would like to have had Ben Nelson, but when you play for the Rams there's nowhere else you'd rather be.
It’s been awhile since the Roseau Rams have given up a goal. After an 8-0 shellacking of the Bemidji Lumberjacks on the road, the Rams completed a series sweep of the Moorhead Spuds, downing their old rival 4-0 in the friendly confines of Memorial Arena.


Year of the Ram: Knochen ‘em out

Year of the Ram: Knochen ‘em out

by Ryan Kennedy - 2008-01-17 13:40:12

This week in our year-long look at the Roseau high school program, we profile sophomore Adam Knochenmus.
In late 1955, employees of a Roseau farm equipment shop put together their first snowmobile while the boss was out of town. Using a grain elevator conveyor belt as the track and the bumper of an old Chevy, the men used the vehicle to get to their hunting shacks without having to cross-country ski there.


Year of the Ram: Warriors, come out to play

Year of the Ram: Warriors, come out to play

by Ryan Kennedy - 2008-01-10 13:49:02

This week in THN.com's season-long look at the Roseau Rams high school program, we explore the rivalry with Warroad.
It would make for a much better story if the rivalry between the towns of Roseau and Warroad, located just 22 miles apart in Northern Minnesota, was a vicious one.


Year of the Ram: These Rams go to 11

Year of the Ram: These Rams go to 11

by Ryan Kennedy - 2008-01-03 11:53:33

This week in our on-going look at the Roseau high school hockey program, the stat girls get busy counting 33 goals to end the year.
The Roseau Rams high school hockey team hosted its annual holiday tournament to end off 2007, and did so in eviscerating style. The Rams, taking on two nearby teams and a Winnipeg school, drilled the Lake of the Woods Bears 11-0 on Friday, the River East Kodiaks 11-3 on Saturday and the Farmington Tigers 11-1 on Sunday.


Year of the Ram: One second to midnight

Year of the Ram: One second to midnight

by Ryan Kennedy - 2007-12-27 19:18:23

This week in THN's season-long look at the Roseau high school program - Nick Oliver gives the Rams a last-second tourney win.
Sunday afternoon provided a nice diversion for Nick Oliver. The 16-year-old forward for the Roseau Rams wasn’t on the ice - he was on the snow.


Year of the Ram: You're on the air with Landman

Year of the Ram: You're on the air with Landman

by Ryan Kennedy - 2007-12-20 14:56:34

Tyler Landman rocks the airwaves and the Rams remain undefeated.
Once or twice a week, Roseau Rams center Tyler Landman leaves practice at around 5:30pm and heads down to one of his part-time jobs. He sits down at a desk, dons a pair of headphones and becomes the voice of Wild 102, Roseau’s “No.


Year of the Ram: Mash-up in Moorhead

Year of the Ram: Mash-up in Moorhead

by Ryan Kennedy - 2007-12-13 11:42:16

In this week's edition of our season-long look at the Roseau high school hockey program, the Rams square off against their division rival.
The electricity is starting to build. It’s in the standing-room only sections of local rinks, where fans huddle over railings with their coffees, and it’s coursing through the fiber-optic cables of computers in rec rooms and office cubicles across the state of Minnesota, where message boards are already abuzz with passionate, yet polite debate about which high school team will claim the crown of state champion this year.


Year of the Ram: On St. Cloud nine

Year of the Ram: On St. Cloud nine

by Ryan Kennedy - 2007-12-06 14:23:50

In our continuing season-long look at the Roseau high school program, we focus on goalie Mike Lee and the Rams first home game.
On Saturday morning, with the Roseau Rams high school team getting primed for their first home game of the season, goalie Mike Lee came to the rink early in search of coach Scott Oliver.


Year of the Ram: Preying on the Prowlers

Year of the Ram: Preying on the Prowlers

by Ryan Kennedy - 2007-11-29 14:29:03

Success has been passed down over generations in Roseau, and they have started this season on the same path.
Jim Lundbolm is now in his 21st season as an assistant coach with Roseau. Like many in town, he is a graduate of the team himself, as is his nephew Andy, now in his third campaign as an assistant.


Year of the Ram: Get on the bus

Year of the Ram: Get on the bus

by Ryan Kennedy - 2007-11-22 12:54:59

The season is fast approaching as our year-long look at the Roseau Rams high school program continues.
For the vast majority of Minnesota high school teams, an away game means a Greyhound-style bus with bathrooms and adjustable seats. “Roseau has never used those,” said coach Scott Oliver.


Year of the Ram: Separating the herd

Year of the Ram: Separating the herd

by Ryan Kennedy - 2007-11-15 11:21:09

We continue our year-long look at the Roseau Rams high school program with an eye on tryouts and defenseman Aaron Ness.
As you read this, there are 42 students at Roseau High School in Northern Minnesota with a lot on their minds. If they’re not learning American history or trigonometry, they’re on the ice, hoping to make the cut as a member of the Roseau Rams senior hockey team.

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