Cole Beaufait’s dominant performance leads hockey to narrow 6-5 win over Rockford

Matthew Mahoney

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With the hockey team looking to cap off the regular season with a win over Rockford, senior Cole Beaufait led the Rangers with his three goals and three assists to a 6-5 win over the Rams.

Coming into the game, the Rangers were riding a 13-game win streak, winning 20 out of their last 21 contests. With this being the last game of the regular season, a win for FHC would send the boys into the playoffs riding high with momentum.

From the get-go, FHC came out with a lot of offensive firepower. By the end of the first period, the FHC lead was 3-0, but Rockford began to come back in the second. The Rams actually outscored the Rangers in the second, making it 4-2 in favor of FHC; however, in the final period of play, Rockford really cranked up the pressure. The Rams scored three goals in the third compared to FHC’s two, but the Rangers still managed to maintain the lead in the end with a 6-5 win.

While Cole led the team in points on the evening, fellow senior Ryan Jeffreys wasn’t far behind with four of his own, with all four coming on assists to his teammates. Also with four points, junior Mason Kelly scored twice and added two assists. Rounding out the goalscorers was sophomore Lucas Jeffreys, scoring his fourth goal of the year.

Defensively, the Rangers remained pretty strong until halfway through the second period. Through the first 26 minutes, FHC did not give up a goal. Sophomore Jake Munger made 11 saves on 11 shots.  Then, in the second half of the game, usual starting goalie junior Gavin Brady came in for relief. The Rams ramped up the pressure a bit, recording 15 shots on goal. Gavin made 10 saves, but he still managed to keep the Ranger lead intact.

Closing out the regular season with the 6-5 victory over Rockford, the Rangers head into the playoffs with a 21-4 record, their best regular-season performance since the 2016-2017 team that fell in the state quarterfinals. Entering the top ten in the state recently with a 14-game win streak, FHC will look to continue the momentum into the playoffs with the potential for this to be a special year. In the first round of Regionals, Jackson Lumen Christi (21-3) travels west to take on East Grand Rapids (11-12-1) on Tuesday, February 25. The winner of this matchup will take on FHC in the Regional semifinals on Saturday, February 29 at Southside Ice Arena in Byron Center at 6:30 PM, hosted by Grand Rapids Catholic Central.