Hockey makes statement with two wins in MIHL Showcase

Matthew Mahoney

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In two games against some of the toughest competition in the state, the offensive trio of junior Mason Kelly and seniors Cole Beaufait and Ryan Jeffreys combined for ten total points to propel the Rangers to two resume-building wins in the MIHL Showcase. With wins over a blueblood program in Flint Powers Catholic and sixth in division one Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, the Rangers cemented their place as arguably the best team on the west side of the state. 

In the first game of the showcase, the boys took on the Flint Powers Catholic Chargers, who have been one of the best programs in the state for years. In the 2017 state quarterfinals—one of the most successful seasons in FHC’s history—the Chargers topped the Rangers in overtime in a heartbreaking 3-2 result. Over the course of the two teams playing each other, the Rangers had never beaten Flint Powers. So while this game was just in a non-conference showcase, the matchup being against this team made the game mean more than just extending the winning streak.

The Rangers got off to a quick start in the first period, going up 2-0 after the first 17 minutes of play. While the Chargers managed to hang around in the second period with an unanswered goal in the second period, the Rangers blew them away in the third and final period. After the FHC lead was brought to within one, the Rangers scored three unanswered goals to run away from Powers with a 5-1 win in a dominant performance. 

On the offensive end of the ice, Mason led the Rangers in scoring with three goals, yet another hat trick for him this season. The other goalscorers came from a duo of juniors, with both Jacob Campbell and Xavier Ott combining to give the Rangers a 5-1 scoreline. Sophomore Tyler Weaver and seniors Ryan Jeffreys, Hayden Sarjeant, and Cole Beaufait each recorded an assist, with Hayden having two on the night.

In net for the afternoon game, junior Gavin Brady only allowed one goal, saving 24 of 25 shots. With yet another dominant performance in between the pipes, Gavin continues to add to his confidence, as well as the team’s. 

In the second game of the weekend, the Rangers took on Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, who came into this contest ranked in sixth place in Division 1. This contest was much more competitive and close, with the Rangers winning by one goal with a final score of 3-2.

Each and every period of the game was very close; both teams scored a goal apiece in the first period, but the Rangers scored two goals to the Eaglets’ one in the second period. Cole led the way for the goalscorers, taking home two of the Rangers’ three goals. The other goalscorer was Ryan, who tallied up two points on the night with an assist as well. While Mason didn’t score in the second game, he did record in an assist. Hayden also added one, but senior Grant Cardin led the way with two assists.

Gavin once again took hold of the net, making 24 saves for the second night in a row on 26 shots. With a 0-0 third period, FHC took home the 3-2 win. The defense performed well once again, keeping their average goals allowed per game below two. 

With two wins against two of the best programs in the state, the Rangers improve their record to 17-4, winning 16 of their last 17. These two wins showed FHC can compete against top competition, even on the east side of the state. The boys have heated up at the perfect time, and they will look to continue their win streak this coming weak with three games against Lowell/Caledonia, Grand Rapids Christian, and Hudsonville throughout the next five days.