College Hockey Scoreboard from CHN

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Plymouth native to play for Calvin

Courtesy Tulsa Rampage & Western States Hockey League

Chuck Hofbauer of the Tulsa Rampage will join the Calvin College club team in the fall and earned the opportunity to play for the ACHA program in spite of facing significant obstacles during his last two seasons with the Tulsa organization.

“Being an insulin dependent diabetic is difficult as an athlete and would warrant some special considerations,” Rampage general manager Julie Wilson said. "But Chuck refused to be held to a standard any less than his teammates and much of the time, pushed himself harder than everyone. Honestly, his attitude in the face of adversity is an inspiration.”

Hofbauer’s progression on the ice was strongly evident early in his first season, but that was cut short when a complication from the diabetes required him to cease any athletic activity for the second half of the year.

Undaunted, Hofbauer, a 21-year-old Plymouth native, kept his focus on hockey and returned to the Rampage at the beginning of the second season stronger than ever.

“Chuck surprised all of us when he came back for the second season,” Tulsa head coach Chad MacLeod said of the forward. "He was stronger, faster, and even more determined. That kid is all heart.”

His determination was evident on the ice as Hofbauer excelled in preseason training and exhibition games. Yet in the first series of the season, he was met with another obstacle. An open-ice hit during the second game resulted in a serious injury that caused doctors to remove three liters of blood from his abdomen along with his spleen.

“I can’t tell you how hard it was to see him in the hospital facing another problem,” MacLeod said. “He worked so hard, had such a great attitude, and had overcome so much before. To watch him get knocked down again was heartbreaking.”

But Hofbauer wasn’t down for the count. He returned for the last half of the season with the same desire that won the hearts of the staff early on.

“No matter what he faced, Chuck never let go of his dream to play college hockey,” Wilson said. “And he didn’t just dream, he kept picking himself up over and over again to make sure it happened. No one deserves an opportunity more than he does. That’s what makes this announcement (Hofbauer playing for Calvin) such a special one to us.”

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