Ice Land had the pleasure of hosting Ross Colton and the Stanley Cup at Ice Land, July 16, 2021! We are honored Ross chose Ice Land as one of his many stops today! We are so proud of you, Ross! Enjoy it.
Two words, one name – Ross Colton. Stanley. Cup. Game. Winning. Goal. As you can probably tell, we are beyond excited and proud at our little rink, in our little town of Hamilton, NJ. We watched one of our very own not only follow his dreams to the NHL, not only score in his second shift ever on NHL ice, not only make it to the Stanley Cup playoffs with his team, not only score goals during the Stanley Cup playoffs, BUT score the game winning (And only!) goal of the game for his team to become the 2021 Stanley Cup Champions!
Ross started playing ice hockey with the Chiefs at Ice Land many years ago and he was a Chief from Mites to Midgets, leaving one year for PeeWee but returning back to his roots the next season. Coach Barcless was his coach from PeeWee Major to Midget Minor. He then went on to play for Coach Rob Broderick with the Rockets, his second year of Midgets. Ross also played at Princeton Day School and then went to the Taft School in Connecticut. He finished High School in Cedar Rapids where he played for 2 years in the USHL and then attended the University of Vermont for 2 years. Ross left early to play in the AHL in Syracuse for 2 years, before he was called up to the NHL to play for the Tampa Bay Lightening this February!
All the while, when he was home, you could find him at Ice Land training on his home ice, with his home coach, Chris Barcless. Ross credits Chris with being one of his biggest influences in his career. You better believe Ross keeps in contact with Chris regularly, keeping him in the loop on everything hockey and still comes home to train with him!
Chris said, ‘I’ve been so lucky and fortunate to work with so many great players over the last 25 years. To have a former player win the Stanley Cup is an incredible feeling! Ross deserves everything he has achieved. I knew he was bound to do something special in hockey. I just never imagined it would be this great. I’m so happy for him and his family.’
Ice Land and the Chiefs have always been a special place to Ross, often returning to help Chris at his infamous summer camps, to train or to coach. This past season he was co-coaching at Ice Land for the Chiefs U18 Premier and U16 National teams with his brother Rob Colton and Head Coach Rob Broderick, his former Midget coach, who is now the General Manager of Ice Land and the Chiefs. Talk about full circle for both Rob Broderick and Ross!
Rob Broderick said, ‘I know Ross will say Chris Barcless is the biggest reason he is where he is. Development is key and nobody is better than Chris – nobody. I coached Ross at Midgets but he was already a phenom. One of the best periods of my coaching experience was sharing the bench with Ross and his brother Rob this past year. So proud of Ross, and Chris, and the Mercer Chiefs!’
While Ross was coaching this past year, he formed a bond with many of the players on the team. During the Chiefs’ season, Ross was called up to Tampa Bay’s bench. Even after a hard fought loss for the Chiefs in the playoffs, a game Ross couldn’t make because he was, you know, playing in the NHL, he took the time to reach out to the players and let them know how proud he was of all of them.
Elliott Lareau, who was lucky enough to be coached by Ross this past season on the U18 Premier team said, ‘Ross had a special bond with the players because he is only a couple of years older than us. He would take the time to talk hockey with us, me being a center and Ross being a center, Ross helped me a lot with face-offs.’ Elliot went on to say how proud he was of Ross and what a surreal experience it was having just been coached by Ross months earlier and now his coach is in the Stanley Cup!
Surreal is right. Dreams do come true, even from our little rink, in our little town. #onceachiefalwaysachief