From 5-11 to the state semifinals: how the FHC hockey team drastically turned its season around


As they move onto the frozen four in the MHSAA state semifinals, it is only right that we reflect on the rollercoaster of a season that the boys on the FHC hockey team have gone through and are still riding.

While their start was not as they had hoped, the boys have truly made a name for themselves not only around FHC but also around the entire state. Because they completed their journey on the road through regionals, they have moved onto the state tournament and have found themselves in the semifinal. Their dominance is clear at this point; however, it was very doubtful at the beginning of the season.

The start of the season was definitely a low point for the team. Their opening weekend led to two early losses for the Rangers, falling to Bay City and FHNE. They followed up with a win over Caledonia, but they could not keep maintain the winning. At their lowest point, they were in a deep hole with a 5-11 record. When all hope seemed to be lost, coach McSween called in his captains for a meeting. They still believed that they could turn things around, so they discussed the way to make that happen.

“We talked about the season, and the biggest takeaway from the talk was that even though we were 5-11, we truly believed we could still achieve our goals which were to be regional champs and make it to the frozen four,” Justin Baehr shared with me. “From there, we just took off. Everyone was tired of losing, and so we started winning. We kicked into a newly discovered gear, and now we’re playing at the highest level in FHC history, which is an immaculate feeling,” he added.

Taking off was the goal, and that is what they did going from 5-11 to 17-12 in just a few short weeks. What sparked this rebellion against a losing record was the groundbreaking eight game win streak that started with a rematch against Jenison, who defeated our Rangers the first time they played each other with a buzzer beater goal to force overtime and a quick game winning goal just seconds into the extra period. This time around, the Rangers took care of business, and with that came the streak that put them back into a winning record. The record was not the only thing positive, as the diehard fans of the team were given much to cheer for.

“There’s nothing I love more than seeing the boys win,” FHC hockey superfan Paige Johnson stated.” So when they finally started doing it consistently, I was overwhelmed with joy.” This newfound winning spirit is exactly what the team needed to bounce back, and the team morale has been booming ever since. Now that they learned how to win, they have found themselves in the highest level of hockey the school has ever been in, so now they have to keep up the winning mentality and continue to win these upcoming games.

Fans are excited, but a specific party of writers is even more satisfied. As writers for this team, it means a lot for Matthew and I when the team can win and we get to tell it all. So, when they do it, we are nothing short of ecstatic. “I really enjoyed following the team on the fluctuating journey they’ve had,” Taylor noted. “Although I’m not on the team, I still find gratification from the players’ success.” Even though we aren’t lacing up the skates with the team, Matt and I still feel like a part of this team because of our coverage of it for this FHC Sports Report and the play-by-play live stream we broadcasted for the public. Therefore, a win for the boys on the ice is a win for us in the announcers’ booth.

Now their excellence has taken them to the state semifinal where they take on Detroit-Catholic Central to hopefully move on to the MHSAA state championship.