Bobcats Acquire Ford from Elmira, Sign Ernst

by Brett Wiseman


The Blue Ridge Bobcats today announced two new additions to the team's defensive core, bringing aboard defensemen Steven Ford and Matt Ernst to the blue line group.

Ford, a 5'10" 181lb native of Richardson, TX, was acquired via trade from the Elmira River Sharks in exchange for forward Dominic Dumas, who Blue Ridge claimed off waivers from the Carolina Thunderbirds prior to making the trade.

The 26 year old brings grit and tenacity to the Bobcats D-core. In 35 games with the River Sharks thus far, Ford has accumulated 132 penalty minutes to go along with 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists). In 42 career FPHL games, he has notched 10 points (6 goals, 4 assists) and 146 penalty minutes (including playoffs). 

Ford played 141 games over three seasons in the highly-regarded NA3HL junior league with the Skyland Kings, serving as captain for his third season. He racked up 189 points (54 goals, 135 assists) and 220 penalty minutes over the course of those three seasons (including playoffs). Ford then went on to play three seasons of high-level collegiate hockey at the NCAA Division III level with Morrisville State College before turning pro.

Ernst, a 6'3" 194lb native of Daytona Beach, FL, will bring a unique blend of youth, size and speed to the Blue Ridge blue line. The 24 year old comes to the Bobcats after playing the last three seasons collegiately at NCAA Division III Lawrence University. Ernst also played high-level junior hockey, spending two seasons with the Daytona Racers of the USP3HL, recording 17 points (4 goals, 13 assists) and 16 penalty minutes in 43 games during that span. 

He then advanced on to play three seasons in the USPHL's Premier Division with the Hartford Jr Wolfpack and Boston Jr Bandits. In 127 games there, Ford racked up 39 points (10 goals, 29 assists) and 63 penalty minutes (including playoffs).

Both players are expected to make their respective Bobcats debuts this weekend when Blue Ridge hosts the Mississippi Sea Wolves and Baton Rouge Zydeco for a three game homestand. Tickets are available by visiting the APEX Center box office, calling 276-335-2100 or logging on to