Sophomore Mason Kelly dominated the box score Saturday afternoon, leading the Rangers with 2 goals en route to a 3-2 shootout win over the Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles. After the first game in the Public School Showcase for FHC was canceled, the Rangers were left with one opportunity to get better and build up some momentum leading into the last game of the regular season.
Ann Arbor Skyline is a very respectable opponent, as the Eagles are 8-4-0 on the season in the very difficult South Eastern Conference Red division. The Eagles face some of the toughest competition in the state on a weekly basis and play a rigorous non-conference schedule, so their record could even be looked at as misleading.
30 seconds into the game, it seemed like the Rangers were up for the task. Off of assists from juniors Grant Cardin and Cole Beaufait, Mason Kelly placed his wrist shot perfectly in the top right corner, flying past Skyline goalie Brenden Cobb. Finishing the period the same way he started it, Mason doubled his goal tally with less than a minute to go in the first period. With assists from juniors Grant Cardin and Peter Bardelli, the puck found Mason, who went five-hole to slot the puck between the goalie’s legs and into the net.
The first period was also a defensive showcase for the Rangers, with the always-strong play from juniors Hayden Sarjeant and Ryan Jeffreys helped out the stellar goal tending from senior Carl Mielock. In his only action of the day, Carl faced 13 shots in the first period and saved all of them.
In the second and third periods, play opened up. Freshman Jake Munger took over the reigns in net for the Rangers in the second, facing 6 shots and saving all of them besides 1. Sophomore Gavin Brady jumped in goal for the third and final period, stopping 8 out of Skyline’s 9 shots. The FHC offense didn’t slow up either, forcing a total of 37 shots on goal over the entirety of the game.
After the score remained deadlocked at 2-2 at the end of regulation, the game went to a shootout. After the Rangers failed to score their first attempt, Carl was dialed in for FHC and stopped all three attempts from the Eagles. In the second round, Cole Beaufait, for the second week in a row, came up huge, scoring the lone Ranger goal in the shootout and leading FHC to a 3-2 OT win.
With this win, the Rangers move to 16-5-1 on the season. They lead the OK Baum conference with 13 points, but they have played one more game than second-place East Grand Rapids and two more than third-place Forest Hills Northern/Eastern. Next up for the Rangers is a date against conference opponent Grand Rapids Christian on Thursday for Senior Night. A win for the Rangers would put them in a promising position for a conference title. In order to do that, however, FHC will have to get through Christian, a team it narrowly defeated 2-1 earlier in the season. The Eagles sit in fourth place in the conference and are on a four-game winning streak.