Ocean Spartans Ice Hockey Team Readies for Season


Ocean-Spartans-Ice-Hockey-logoBy CHRIS CHRISTOPHER

Ocean Township High School ice hockey coach Dave Smith has announced the Spartans’ 2015-16 regular-season schedule.

Dec. 10: 6:15 p.m., Middletown South vs. Ocean at Jersey Shore Arena; Dec. 14: 5:15 p.m., vs. Edison at Woodbridge; Dec. 16: 3:45 p.m., vs. South Brunswick at Pro Skate; Dev. 17: 6:15 p.m., vs. Wall at Jersey Shore Arena; Dec. 22, 8:30 p.m., vs. West Windsor-Plainsboro South at Lawrenceville Prep; Dec. 27, 2:15 p.m. vs. Marlboro at Jersey Shore Arena; Jan. 2: 4:40 p.m., vs. Passaic Valley at Floyd Hall; Jan. 4: 7:30 p.m., vs. Central Regional at Winding River Skating Center; Jan. 7: 6:15 p.m., vs. Edison at Jersey Shore Arena; Jan. 8: 3:15 p.m., vs. Colonia at Woodbridge.

Jan. 14: 6:15 p.m. vs. River Dell at Jersey Shore Arena; Jan. 16: 8:15 p.m., vs. Red Bank Regional at Red Bank Armory; Jan. 19: 6:20 p.m., vs. Middletown South at Middletown; Jan. 21: 6:15 p.m., vs. Freehold at Jersey Shore Arena; Jan. 23: 2:15 p.m., vs. Jackson Memorial at Jersey Shore Arena

Jan. 27: 7:30 p.m., vs. Wall at Howell; Jan. 28: 6:15 p.m., opponent to be determined, Jersey Shore Arena; Feb. 4: 6:15 p.m., vs. Central Regional at Jersey Shore Arena; Feb. 11: 6:15 p.m. vs. Lawrence at Jersey Shore Arena; Feb. 13: 7:45 p.m., vs. Marlboro at Jersey Shore Arena; Feb. 18: 6:15 p.m., vs. Manasquan at Jersey Shore Arena.

Meanwhile, Smith has announced the Spartans’ assistant coaches.

They are associate head coach Mike Ryan and Devon Ribsan. The latter played under Smith at Ocean. Ryan, a former Christian Brothers Academy player, coached the Point Pleasant Boro Panthers for several seasons.

Ryan’s chief task with the Spartans is guiding their goalies.

“He also handles all aspects of our statistical breakdowns,” Smith said. “He looks at everything from our assists to plus-minus ratings and their hits, giveaways and takeaways. He works with our managers to compile and analyze data so that we can give our guys more feedback other than goals, assists and total points.”

Smith said he and Ryan have known each other for five years.

“I have known him for a long time,” Smith said. “He and I go back to when I coached at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional. He became available and expressed an interest in joining us. It was a no-brainer when he said he was interested in joining us.”

Ribsan played for Smith during Smith’s first two seasons as the Spartans’ coach.

“We think a lot alike,” Smith said. “I love to have my former players on my staff. Devon has great credibility with our players. He walks the talk. He is outstanding. I feel the future of our program will someday be in his hands.

“A former forward, he manages the defense in game situations. He sees the game the way Mike and I do. He is the perfect complement to Mike and I.”

Smith said he values the opinions of his assistant coaches.

“I spend a lot of time with them as I look for their input,” he said. “Ultimately, I make the final decisions on line combinations and defensive pairings. I defer to Mike on goalie starts. We are on the same page as we rotate our goalies. We basically have two number one goalies in Brian Harlow and Spencer Reu. I basically run the practices. From game to game, we make adjustments. A lot of the administrative work is done by myself.”

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