Hockey suffers season-ending 5-0 loss to GR Catholic Central in Regional final

Matthew Mahoney

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Ultimately, it just wasn’t FHC’s night on Wednesday against Grand Rapids Catholic Central. Despite junior Gavin Brady’s best efforts in between the pipes, the Cougars finally started to break through, scoring five goals in the final two periods to bury the Rangers in the Regional final.

Through the first period of play, overall, the game was pretty even. The Cougars definitely dominated the first ten minutes or so, creating the majority of the chances on net. Gavin played some of his best hockey all year, especially in the first period. He made save after save and kept the Rangers in the game early on. In the last five minutes though, FHC amped up the pressure. On a couple of odd-man breaks, the Rangers got some good looks on net, but they couldn’t capitalize. The first period finished 0-0, with both teams heading into the locker room feeling they could’ve started the game with a couple of goals.

The second period is where things began to go downhill for the Rangers. With 10:17 to go in the second, the Cougars were on the counter. As GRCC attacked, the puck was sent high in the air nearing center ice. The flying puck was misread by the FHC defenseman, and this sent GRCC’s star player Jacob Onstott in on goal. He shot it into the top corner, making it nearly impossible for Gavin to save it. Then, just over a minute later at the 9:10 mark, the Cougars doubled their lead.

After the Cougars broke through, the Rangers started to get back into the game. Despite not scoring, the FHC offense showed some resiliency by staying composed and not forcing things even with the deficit. The second period finished 2-0 in favor of GRCC, and the Rangers were going to need a huge third period to keep their season alive. 

The third period did not go to plan. Just a 1:15 into the final period of play, the Cougars themselves on another threatening attack. The shot from the middle of the ice was initially saved by Gavin, but the puck slowly trickled behind him into the net as he thought he had it secured underneath himself. 

As desperation time sunk in for the Rangers, the Cougars continued to shut down most chances. With 7:42 to go in the game, GRCC scored the fourth goal of the game, all but wrapping up the Regional title. The game finished in a 5-0 win for the Cougars, but the Rangers will remember much more than this last game.

With the loss, this year’s run for FHC comes to a close. The Rangers finish 22-5, coming just short of the success that the 2017-2018 team had that reached the state quarterfinals.