Varsity Hockey dominates Rockford 5-1 to continue their winning streak

Tommy Spaletto, Sports Reporter

4 goals scored in the second period fueled the Rangers to their 4th straight victory Saturday night against the Rockford Rams 5-2. Sophomore Cole Beaufait continued to shine, as he scored the final goal tonight to shut the door on Rockford. Cole has now scored in three consecutive games and is now playing more confident out on the ice.

“I have been trying to keep things simple on offense.” Beaufait said. “I’m also just trying to play hard and confident at the same time.”

The Rangers started off very slow, as the Rams put themselves on the board in just a matter of a minute and a half. FHC struggled to get even a shot on goal in the first moments of the first period, but they slowly readjusted themselves by slowly getting more looks at the net. The Rangers tried everything until senior captain Mason Kistler tied things up late in the first to give FHC the momentum they needed heading into the second period.

FHC’s offense absolutely exploded in the second period, where they scored 4 out of their 5 goals on the night. Things started off on the right note. Just 4 minutes into the second period, freshman Caleb Verpoort scored to give FHC the lead 2-1. FHC was very physical and really set the tone early in the second by having some great hits. Senior Jacob Demeter struck for the Rangers later in the second to extend the lead to 3-1, which was big for FHC. The dagger for Rockford came just a minute later. Junior Cole Ott tacked another goal on for the Rangers, which extended the lead to 4-1. Cole Beaufait put yet another goal on the board for FHC late in the second, giving the Rangers a 5-1 lead and completed an absolutely dominant second period.

Head coach Kevin Zaschak praises the offense’s recent success.

“We are just playing very disciplined right now,” Zaschak said “We had a lot of power play opportunities. They took 12 penalties today, so it’s all a part of being disciplined. We scored 4 power play goals tonight, so that really helped us also. Last night we beat them 5-2, so we knew they were going to come out and play hard. But they took some penalties so that really helped us.”

The third period was a very well played defensive period for FHC. Junior goalie Carl Mielock made some big saves that could have easily been goals for the Rams. Mielock made an excellent adjustment since the beginning of the game, as Rockford did not score since 4 minutes into the first period when they first took the lead. Carl’s mentality was just to stay calm and not let anything get to his head.

“Going into this game, I just tried to play calm and not get too high or too low,” Mielock said. “I also tried to play very controlled and just play hard.”

These two wins were huge for the Rangers, as they continue to gain lots of confidence heading into playoffs. Grandville staying undefeated in conference play does not help FHC, but the Rangers need to focus on two matchups against Canton and Rochester Stoney Creek. These wins would give FHC an enormous amount of confidence heading into Senior night against a number one ranked conference opponent: Grandville.

“We just need to keep the competition level up,” said Zaschak. “We’ve won 4 games in a row now, and just keeping the level of play up is going to be key. We started the schedule off very difficult for this reason: to get to a point to compete against any team. So if we can keep it up, I think that’s really the main key for this team moving forward.”