Rangers sneak past EGR but fall short to GR Catholic Central in Regional finals


After taking down Mattawan by a score of 3-1, the Rangers got another shot with their fierce rival, East Grand Rapids, in the regional semifinal. The Rangers were in a 1-1 deadlock with the Pioneers up until late in the third, until finally, the Rangers found a way to go on a three-goal run and down the Pioneers by a final score of 4-1. After this win, the Rangers were awarded with a rematch against Grand Rapids Catholic Central, a team who defeated the Rangers by a score of 4-0 earlier in the season. In this go-around, the Rangers faced a 2-1 deficit in the third period. Catholic Central found their groove in the third period, as they scored their third goal of the game off a redirect. The final score of this fight was 4-2 in favor of CC. Unfortunately for the Rangers, this defeat at the hands of CC ended their postseason run and season.

In the beginning of the game against East, the score was 1-1, and the Rangers were moving the puck around. Both teams remained on the edge of their benches, as this game had been one of the closest matches out of the three games that these teams played against each other. Eventually, junior Josh Smith worked the puck around to senior Xavier Ott who has really filled in stat sheets for the Rangers in the last couple of games. Ott netted the puck, giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead to bolster their chances at an immediate victory. Soon after Ott’s resounding goal, the Rangers scored two more goals in empty-net situations.

The first two periods of the game saw minimal scoring action, but the Rangers were the first to get on the board. Senior captain Jacob Campbell scored the first of his two on the night after sniping a shot off the rebound. In the second period, the Pioneers answered the goal by Campbell. Ryley Sikkenga scored the only goal for the Pioneers, as senior goalie Gavin Brady had a career day. EGR was able to fire 30 plus shots on goal during the whole 51 minutes, but unfortunately for the Pioneers, Gavin Brady had other ideas and came close to a shutout.

Just like the EGR game, the third period against Catholic Central remained a tight contest up until late in the period. About midway through, CC broke away for a scoring opportunity and hit Gavin Brady straight in the chest with the first shot. However, the puck bounced straight back to the shooter and he finished this chance by giving the Cougars a 3-1 lead. Four minutes later, the Cougars scored the season-ender on an empty net which pushed the lead out to 4-1. The Cougars saw four different players score goals, as Andrew Wermuth, Gabe Sova, Ryder Mulvey, and Shayne Kwiatkowski all found the back of the net. The Rangers scored one final goal with just 10 seconds left after a pile-up near the net ended with the Rangers finishing one final shot. Due to the Cougars relentless offensive attack, they ended up taking FHC down by a score of 4-2

Right off the bat in the first period, the Cougars scored the first goal of the game, but the Rangers answered quickly. Junior Josh Smith sniped top shelf over goalie Lucas Chalfoun to tie the game up 1-1. Similar to the first, the Cougars scored within the first minutes of the second. With just 48 seconds left on the clock, the Cougars scored, giving them a narrow 2-1 lead that they would never give up.

The Rangers’ final record on the season ended up being 7-11; a great finish after a slow start that saw them begin the season 1-5 with major losses. With the end of the season, is the inevitable loss of the team’s valuable seniors, and the ultimate need for spots of be filled.