Shorthanded FHC Hockey team falls short to Lowell/Cal in season opener


Missing one guy can be a problem. Missing a few can really affect a game. Missing 10 guys seems a little unfair.

Last night was the season opener for the Rangers where they welcomed Lowell/Cal to the Rangers’ home rink of Patterson. The crowd may have been smaller than usual, but the Rangers bench was even smaller. The Rangers had 10 inactive players due to contact tracing of the COVID-19 which cut the roster from 22 kids to just 12 (including three goalies). Although the circumstances looked to not be in the Rangers’ favor as they only had three active defensive players, they still took to the ice for their uphill battle.

The first two periods were very similar. In the first, Lowell/Cal was on a penalty kill when Dylan Olsen scored an unassisted goal. Then in the second, after a pass from Austin Domua to Drew Klomparens, Nick Lockhart received the puck from Klomparens and scored the second goal of the game on even strength.

In the third, the lack of players had caught up to the Rangers as the energy had drained from the bench. Lowell/Cal would go on to score two more goals, one from Austin Douma after a pass from Russell Langenburg, as well as an unassisted goal from Alex Skibinski. The final score of the game would finish 4-0 in the favor of Lowell/Cal.

The Rangers will be gaining more players this weekend as they now move on to a three-game series in two days with two games against Muskegon Mona Shores and one against Big Rapids. The Rangers are now 0-1, but there are pros to this game. Since guys were missing, this allowed for first-time Rangers like freshmen Ryan Sutherlund and Owen Barber, sophomores Anthony Ott and Justin Baehr, and senior Sam Cooper to get crucial time on the ice for the first time.