The Ranger hockey team struggles through the weekend


The one word to describe this weekend for the Ranger hockey team is: tough. The boys struggled through two games against good opponents, Byron Center and East Grand Rapids, and did not get the results they were hoping for.

To start off the weekend, the Rangers played the third-best team in Division two: the Byron Center Bulldogs. This matchup was an uphill battle for the Rangers, especially after the frustrating game against Grand Rapids Christian. The team was also struggling with injuries. Both captain Sammy Mielock and junior Ryan Sutherlund were out for both games and will continue to sit out for most of the remaining season. This is very tough for a team that is full of young players because it just lost two of the leaders on the team. When asked how the team needs to adjust to this, coach McSween explained. “We need everyone to step up and play a little better.  Nobody is going to replace Sammy, but we need to play better as a team.”

The Rangers went down 2-0 in the first period and unlike other games this season, they weren’t able to get on the scoresheet to contest the Bulldog’s lead. The final score was 5-0 which handed the Rangers their 5th loss of the season. Although the score may not show it, the team was happy with the performance considering the situation.

“I feel like we played pretty well against them even though Sammy had just gotten injured. Despite them being one of the top teams in the state, we were able to stick with them and play to their level for a majority of the game,” said junior Owen Barber.

The game that really mattered to the Rangers was the rivalry game against East Grand Rapids. It was a packed barn for the heated matchup between the two rival schools. Both schools had a large student section appearance which made the game even more enticing; however, the game didn’t go the Rangers’ way.

Sophomore Eli Lipke explained why the Rangers weren’t able to top the Pioneers. “I feel like we are still figuring things out as we are such a young team and over half of our team are first-year players. I feel like that leads to more nerves than there needs to be. Also, I feel like we weren’t all mentally engaged. I think we let the whole rivalry thing get to our head when we should’ve just taken it as another game.” These factors caused the Rangers to fall short of the Pioneers by a score of 4-0.


The Rangers will look to get their season back on track against Rockford on Friday. The game will be at Patterson Ice Center at 5:30.