Reese Rolheiser was a member of the Crusaders organization for five seasons.
It all began for Rolheiser in 2004 when he was called up to play for the Crusaders as a 16-year old. The previous year, Rolheiser played in Bantam hockey on the Southside of Edmonton for the SSAC Athletic AAA team. His final year saw him light up the lamp 19 times whilst assisting on 29 goals. His performances on the ice, of course, lead to Rolheiser being a highly touted prospect.
Rolheiser made his Crusaders debut the following year, he was coming into an organization that was just coming off three consecutive seasons with a winning record. Unfortunately for Rolheiser and the Crusaders, that streaked ended during Rolheiser’s rookie season with the team only able to put together 14 regular wins. Rolheiser was able to put together 12 points over 51 games.
The 2005 season saw Rolheiser improve slightly on his tally from the season before. The Edmonton native was able to put the puck in the net an additional three times (10 goals). Much like the season before, the team was once again unable to perform and compete at a high level only winning 15 games in 60 minutes.
His junior year was when Rolheiser was able to step up into more of an offensive role. Over the span of 57 games, the Crusaders forward finished second on the team in points with 41. Rolheiser was able to have two-point games 12 times throughout the season and even grabbed himself a four-point game against the Lloydminster Bobcats. Rolheiser’s 41 points helped the Cru make it back to the playoffs, but were unfortunately eliminated by future champions the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
Much like his first three seasons, Rolheiser beat his career high in points once again. This time, he managed to score 61 points which was good enough for third in scoring on the team. His point total also helped the team have its first winning season in three seasons, winning 28 games in total. Rolheiser was able to produce five multi-point games including one five-point game against the Spruce Grove Saints, and a four-point game against the Calgary Canucks. Things were looking promising for the Crusaders heading into the playoffs, but once again they saw themselves exit early against the Bonnyville Pontiacs.
With the 2008 season being Rolheiser’s last season of junior eligibility, the five year Crusaders forward left the Cru fans with a nice departing gift. The Crusaders rallied together to have an incredible season which saw them win 41 games, third best in the north division. Rolheiser had an outstanding season scoring 88 points, the best on the Crusaders roster and also in the AJHL. Rolheiser’s incredible performances over five years with the Crusaders earned him an NCAA scholarship to Quinnipiac University.
Over his four year stay in Quinnipiac, Rolheiser struggled to adapt to the college game and could not find his offensive game. In just 51 games he was only able to produce 13 points.
Although his collegiate career did not go as planned, Rolheiser still ranks high in the Crusaders history books. He currently sits second all time in franchise points with 217, only behind Grant Rezewski who has 297. Rolheiser was an excellent player for the Crusaders and we hope to see him around the arena sooner rather than later.