Ranger hockey win secured by a Mielock masterpiece


If someone asks you to describe this past week for Ranger hockey, tell them it was a winning one. After a monstrous win over Caledonia on Wednesday, FHC kept its winning week alive by outlasting Grand Haven on the ice this Saturday.

Most of the credit for the win against Grand Haven should go to the Mielock brothers, who had a combined four goals in the single game.

“After two days off, kids being out sick, some kids playing while sick including myself, and the bright and early game time, we came out a bit slow and it was a rough game the whole way through, but we pulled through and won,” senior Justin Baehr explained. “Good teams find a way to win.”

The Rangers went into Saturday with a losing record of 1-2 but were also coming off a huge 9-2 win just a few days prior. Obviously, they were hoping for a nice easy win to bring them up to an even record, but Grand Haven gave them anything but. Grand Haven scored its first goal very early in the game to put them up 1-0 and followed up with the boy’s second with seven minutes left in the first period. Luckily the team wasn’t discouraged and began its comeback with Sammy Mielock rebounding freshman Hayden Tannner’s long shot. Following suit, Gibby Grendal and Eli Lipke assisted Owen Barber for the game-tying goal with only a minute left in the period, which soon concluded with the same 2-2 score.

Three minutes into the second period the lead was taken back by Grand Haven as they scored their third goal of the night, however, FHCs captain Sammy Mielock fooled the goalie by banging it off the crossbar and down in to tie the game right back up. With morale high again for the Rangers, Nolan Timmer creates a breakaway for the man that never chokes under pressure, Anthony Ott, to add another goal to his name. The second period was truly a turning point in the game as the Rangers scored three goals in a row to give them a 5-3 lead after Sammy secured his hat trick for the second game in a row. The action didn’t stop there as Grand Haven took back a goal, cutting the Ranger lead to one as the second period comes to an end. The conclusion of the second period came with a penalty by the Rangers, which meant that Grand Haven would enter the final period with a power play.

The Rangers were able to survive the power play and the Mielock brothers added to their team’s lead when Sammy assisted Benny for his first of the season. Unfortunately, the Grand Haven power play became all too common in the third period as they were given a two-minute power play with seven minutes left in the game, then scoring off a five-on-three after a short scuffle resulted in a Ranger roughing penalty with one minute to go in the game. Grand Haven won the faceoff after its fifth goal, then went on the offensive with an empty net, desperate to find the net and a tied game. After a plethora of shots, the last one was lasered at the goal, raising the heart rates of everyone at the rink. The shot left the Grand Haven player’s stick heading for Justin Baehr’s glove side, where most of the five prior goals snuck through. Everyone was looking for the puck in the back of the net, but thanks to Baehr they were looking in the wrong place. Justin caught the puck in the back of his glove, then was bombarded with hugs from his teammates as he just saved the game for his team.

Although Baehr had just saved his team’s win, he was still upset with how many times the puck found its way into his net.

“All the goals we let up were self-inflicted as well as very preventable,” he stated. “That game shouldn’t have been that close and it wouldn’t have been if we didn’t play so sloppy.”

What I left out earlier was that for those five goals Baehr gave up, he shouldn’t be blamed for any. An NHL-level play by Grand Haven including a quick one-timer that was redirected down into the goal from in front of Baehr’s line of sight accounted for one of those. Other goals included shots that were the last of many rebounds in the play and an unfortunate own goal that was going high and wide but was tipped in by a Ranger defender. These weren’t the only high probability scoring opportunities that Grand Haven had, but a high probability gets exponentially lower when Justin Baehr is in front of the net, which was proven as he had saved an extreme amount of goals that morning. Baehr might be an elite goalie, but everyone gives up goals when their defense allows too many opportunities.

“It was a weird game and I didn’t think we came out as focused as we should be, but we found a way to win the game,” Coach McSween declared. “We were able to score six which was great, now we have to play better defensively.”

While it worked out in the end, the Rangers didn’t play as organized as Grand Haven did, which is something that’ll change as the season progresses and team chemistry improves. Until then, we are happy that the list of goal scorers is a long one, and that they are able to score a lot, which has begun a winning streak for the Ranger Hockey Program.