GRC comes back to show the Ranger hockey team not to count them out too early


The Ranger hockey team traveled to Eagles Ice Center with high expectations for their game against Grand Rapids Christian but left with low morale. The boys went on the ice thinking they had an easy win in front of them, but the Eagles proved themselves a worthy hockey team.

The Rangers won the first period by taking a 1-0 lead from a Benny Mielock goal and some Justin Baehr saves. The slow first period transitioned into a goal-scoring frenzy in the second. Sammy Mielock added one to the scoreboard and the Mielock goal tally while Owen Barber put two of his own in the back of the GRC net. The Eagles took one of their own, but the Rangers stayed on top to end the period with a 4-1 score.

The game went completely downhill from there as many Rangers found themselves in the penalty box, leaving the defense to try to kill a five-on-three for six whole minutes. The crucial advantage for the Eagles was that Benny and Gibby Grendel were both given two and ten penalties that kept them in the box even after GRC scored. That left GRC with nearly undefendable, endless opportunities to score as much as they could with the five-on-three advantage. That unbeatable advantage led to the undermining of the Ranger lead, eventually ending the game with GRC on top 7-4.

A common complaint from the players was that the refs handed the game to GRC as the Rangers were actually a very well-behaved team that game, but were thrown in the penalty box with little reason, leading to the game-sealing six-minute five-on-three.

“The refs were very vindictive, in my opinion,” senior Colin Wojczynski exclaimed. “There were a lot of penalties being called against us that not only shouldn’t have but were also one-sided and weren’t called on GRC. We’re obviously not blaming the loss on the refs, but they definitely had an impact.”

The players were upset about the refs putting them in a difficult situation, but coach McSween had other concerns.

“We took a bunch of penalties and didn’t handle the adversity well enough,” he stated. “In the next couple of games, I expect us to play like we did in the first two periods and to handle the adversity better.”

McSween was right about the adversity. The Rangers played a very well-rounded first two periods, being able to keep the puck out of their own net while also finding ways to put it in the other. If the team can keep their dominance flowing into the third and final period, the Ranger record will continue to increase on the left side.

The next Ranger hockey game is this Friday at Southside Ice Arena at 7 pm as the Rangers will hopefully take down the Bulldogs from Byron Center. They follow that up with a home game against EGR at 7:30 pm at Patterson on Saturday. If all goes according to plan there will be a livestream for the game against EGR on the Team 1 Sports app. Make sure to go to or tune in to the games this weekend.