Hockey takes down East Grand Rapids 3-2 on miraculous game-winning goal with four seconds left

Matthew Mahoney

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Senior Ryan Jeffreys was ultimately the hero for the FHC hockey team against East Grand Rapids on Friday night, as his goal with 4.4 seconds remaining in regulation gave the Rangers the 3-2 win in one of the most important games of the regular season. 

The entire contest saw the game become pretty chippy, but the first period was especially so. In an action-packed 17 minutes, EGR took hold of the game early with a 2-1 lead. The Pioneers looked much improved compared to the first matchup between these two teams, and they were dictating the pace. Junior Gavin Brady did a good job of not letting EGR expand its lead, recording 29 saves on 31 shots throughout the entirety of the night. 

Luckily for FHC, senior Peter Bardelli brought a goal back before the end of the period and kept the game from becoming out of hand. The Rangers certainly had their fair share of chances, however, but the Pioneers had 11 shots on goal to FHC’s 10.

In the second period, things started to settle down a bit with neither team scoring throughout. This period was much more even, with both teams recording the same number of shots on goal. Peter eventually went on to tie the game at two goals apiece in the third period, scoring his second of the game. He led the team in points on the night, and without his impressive performance, the Rangers would have likely struggled to find the back of the net as much as they did.

Facing a 5 on 3 man disadvantage with two late penalties for FHC, the Rangers were facing immense pressure from the Pioneers with regulation coming to a close. Ryan intercepted a pass from EGR at a full sprint near the blue line on the FHC end, taking the puck the length of the rink with only the Pioneer goaltender to beat. As he approached, he beat the goalie with a move to the left side and buried it into the back of the net, giving FHC the 3-2 victory. 

With Ryan’s goal and this win for the Rangers, the boys move to 10-4 on the season with a 4-1 record in conference play. Today’s conference matchup with East Kentwood was postponed due to the winter storm approaching the area, and the game was rescheduled for this Wednesday at 7:00 PM at Patterson Ice Center. 

With such a morale-boosting win in an intense game against the team’s biggest rival, the Rangers hope to continue this momentum ahead of their game against EK, but it’s difficult not to focus on the upcoming rematch over conference leader and intradistrict rival FHNE.