Hockey loses 3-1 in hard-fought battle against crosstown rival FHNE

Matthew Mahoney

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It was the senior Carl Mielock show on Friday night, as the hockey team took on conference opponent and arch rival Forest Hills Northern/Eastern. Senior goalie Carl Mielock was huge in net for the Rangers, racking up 24 saves on the night from the powerful FHNE attack. However, the stellar goaltending from Carl wasn’t enough to win the game, as the Rangers went on to lose 3-1.

For the majority of the first period, the Ranger defense was under constant pressure from the FHNE forwards. FHNE dominated the game offensively in the first period, ending the period with a 15-6 shot on goal advantage. Not far into the game, FHNE forward John Livingston broke past the FHC defense on his own, sliding the puck past Carl to give FHNE the 1-0 lead with 13:11 remaining in the first period. For the rest of the period, Carl, juniors Hayden Sarjeant and Ryan Jeffreys, and the rest of the FHC defense stayed resistant, stopping any other threatening attacks from reaching the back of the net.

The second period was where things turned around for the Rangers; however, it took some motivation from another FHNE goal to get there. Less than three minutes into the second, FHNE forward Cam Cain scored to make the deficit 2 goals for FHC. After this, the game opened up. The Ranger forwards picked up the pace, hitting FHNE goalie Brenden Bogema with constant action. The FHC defense also picked up the pace, only giving up 7 shots on goal in the second period.

After having 19 shots on goal in one period, a goal is bound to come. After a five-minute major penalty was given to FHNE, the Rangers went on the powerplay. A minute into the man advantage, the Rangers scored via an unassisted senior Cole Ott goal with 3:19 remaining in the period. An FHC shot was blocked by an FHNE defender, only to be picked up by Cole ten feet away from the net, whose shot narrowly slipped by FHNE goalie Brenden Bogema, slowly sliding past the red line and signaling the goal.

To end the second period, the Rangers were gifted with a five-on-three advantage after two FHNE players were sent to the penalty box. While they did get 5 shots off during the two-man advantage, the Rangers could not find the net, ending the period and power play still down 2-1.

In the third period, both defenses tightened up. The Rangers only had 7 shots on goal in the third, while FHNE had even less with 5. Eventually, time was winding down in the period, so FHC pulled Carl out of the net so they could have the man advantage once again. However, the Rangers found it difficult to score with the FHNE defenders packed in around the net and failed to tie the score up. FHNE added on another goal late after intercepting a Ranger pass, as Cure Cumming knocked in an empty netter from the blue line with only 22.4 seconds remaining, giving us the final score of FHNE 3, FHC 1.

The loss keeps the Rangers on top of the OK Baum conference with a 14-5-1 record, having played three more games than second-place FHNE. Next up for the Rangers is a trip to Trenton, Michigan, where they will take on Midland Dow. Dow sits in sixth place in the stacked Saginaw Valley conference, with similar results to FHC against common opponents East Grand Rapids, Grandville, and Saginaw Heritage.