TOPEKA, KS, APRIL 26, 2007: The Topeka RoadRunners are pleased to announce that veteran defenseman Rafael Rodriguez has reached an agreement to play for Division I Robert Morris University beginning in the fall of 2007.
“Rafael is one of the most gifted defensemen I’ve ever coached”, praised head coach Scott Langer. “He has a natural feel for the game, as well as great feet and smooth hands. He does things every game that just can’t be taught.”
A three year RoadRunner veteran, the 20-year old from Oceanside, CA has been a solid contributor at both ends of the ice. Joining the RoadRunners in late January 2005, he played a total of 112 games including playoffs, registering 15 goals and 58 assists. His leadership qualities earned him a “A” on his jersey, and he wore the “C” for six weeks while teammate and captain John Stoddard recovered from a concussion. “Raffy” was also a fixture on the power play, directing traffic from the point.
“I’m excited to take this next step in my career”, said Rodriguez. “I just want to thank Coach Langer for always believing in me”. It wasn’t just his coach that believed in him. In post-season balloting, his teammates voted him “Best Defensive Player”.
The Robert Morris Colonials play in the CHA (College Hockey America) along with Alabama-Huntsville, Bemidji State, Niagara, and Wayne State. The Colonials are coached by Derek Schooley. He will unite with defenseman Eric Trax, who played for the Lone Star Cavalry in their lone season in Texas before being moved to Santa Fe to become the RoadRunners.
Rodriguez becomes the third member of this years squad to commit to Division I progams, preceded by Tibor Kutalek (Alaska-Fairbanks) and Jason Krispel (Univ. of Connecticut).