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Inspired by Ryan Fischer, Grandville's seniors left a lasting legacy after leading Bulldogs to first ever D-1 Final

Hockey   | Jeff Dullack

Inspired by Ryan Fischer, Grandville's seniors left a lasting legacy after leading Bulldogs to first ever D-1 Final

Plymouth – Leave a Legacy.

That has been the message that the Grandville hockey team stood by all season long as the Bulldogs played in honor of teammate Ryan Fischer, the captain of the Grandville hockey team, who passed away suddenly the night before last year’s Division 1 hockey state semifinals.

As the Bulldogs advanced to their first state championship game, where they faced Detroit Catholic Central, the same team Grandville had faced in last year’s semifinals as the two teams would come together at the end of the game in Fischer’s memory, it had already accomplished more than any other team in the program’s history.

And while the Bulldogs came up just short in their quest for a state championship, the Grandville hockey team certainly left a legacy in the 2014-2015 season.

“This is a very special senior class and the junior class as well,” Grandville coach Joel Breazeale said. “They were the first players to come and do a cross-ice environment in the entire state and what you see here is that competitive spirit. They’ve been a blessed and special group from the get-go, what they’re doing is setting a tone for what’s expected and how you handle yourself and when you’re a Bulldog, you battle to the very end and you wear that maroon and white with great pride. It’s not about the individual, it’s about our community and it’s about leaving a legacy.”

A team made up of nine seniors and nine juniors, Grandville entered this season with high expectations, while also wanting to honor their friend and teammate.

Senior Zach VanderWel, who tallied an assist on Saturday, said that he felt he and his teammates were able to leave what will be a lasting legacy at Grandville, by making it to Compuware for the state semifinals in two straight years.

“The theme of our program is ‘Leave a Legacy’, which was left by Ryan Fischer,” he said. “And I think we did a pretty good job of that by making it to Compuware back-to-back seasons.”

In the second period, with Grandville facing