FHC hockey breaks even on the weekend


Over the weekend, the Ranger hockey team fought through two games. For their fifth game of the season, the Rangers faced off against cross-town rival Grand Rapids Catholic Central at Southside Ice Arena. This heated match-up came after a 2-game-win streak for the Rangers; however, it was cut short on Friday.

Coming into this game, the boys were hoping to continue the score after netting 15 goals in the last two games but unfortunately, it didn’t go to plan. After battling through the first period, the Rangers found themselves down 1-0 because of a late goal from the Cougars. When asked about how the team felt during the first intermission, junior Owen Barber said, “We were feeling pretty good about how we played defensively despite the goal. We felt that despite most of the team being sick that we were putting up a good fight.”

Thankfully, the Rangers were able to level the score early in the second because of a spectacular goal from senior Sammy Mielock. He gathered the puck at the blue line and took it along the left side to the goal and finished it off with a nice shot. This put the score even at 1-1 but it didn’t stay that way for very long.

Less than a minute later the Cougars took back their lead. At this point in the game, it started to get chippy. This caused the Rangers to be short-handed and Catholic Central was able to get a powerplay goal making the score 3-1 in favor of the Cougars. Before the end of the second, both teams were down a man and Catholic Central was able to tack onto their lead putting the Rangers down 4-1.

Throughout the game, there were many penalties handed out, which put the Rangers on the powerplay a total of five times including a five-minute major late in the second that carried into the third. However, FHC struggled to take advantage of the powerplay. The physicality provided many opportunities for the Rangers but they were not able to capitalize. In the end, they fell to the Cougars 5-1 and their record dropped to 2-3.

Part of the reason why the Rangers fell short on Friday was the illness that spread through the team. During the week leading up to the game, most of the team was not able to practice because they were sick. Although many of them were healthy by Friday, they weren’t prepared to jump right back into the swing of things. I asked coach McSween what his message to his team was after the loss; he touched on the unfortunate situation they were put in and what the team should do moving forward. “We need to stick together and continue to get better each day. We can’t let things we can’t control affect us.”

A day after the loss, the FHC hockey team had a chance to bring their win percentage back to .500 in their 2nd meeting of the season against Caledonia. The first meeting between the two teams was a 9-2 victory for the Rangers and was the bounce-back game after the tough loss to Northern-Eastern. The previous win kickstarted a two game-winning streak for the Rangers which carried into the Catholic Central game and would hopefully start back up in the matchup against the Scots.

“Going into this game, I think everyone was much more focused and intense. We had just come off of a tough loss, and people knew that we needed to bounce back and get a win from this one,” said freshman Hayden Tanner.

The first period was much closer than what the Rangers wanted as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to sophomore Gibby Grendel, but they struggled to find the net a second time before the buzzer. To make matters worse, Caledonia was able to find an equalizer early in the second which put the game at 1-1. At this very moment, the Rangers had a choice: give in or fight.

Towards the end of the second, it was clear what the Rangers decided to do. With an assist from his brother, freshman Benny Mielock was able to put the puck past the goalie on a powerplay and put FHC up 2-1. After that, the Rangers were able to add three more goals in the third while only letting one in. The goal scorers in the third included Owen Barber, Benny Mielock, and senior Anthony Ott with the final score of 5-2 for the win.

“Against Caledonia, we stuck with it. We stayed disciplined and let our talent take over,” said coach McSween.

The Rangers will travel to Eagles Ice Center on Tuesday to face off against Grand Rapids Christian in a conference match-up. The game starts a 6 pm and will kick off a week full of games that will be very crucial to the Rangers in the standings.