Boys Varsity Hockey
Game Summaries & Headlines.
The article below was written by Regan Cleves of .
CATHOLIC CENTRAL COUGARS 1 at ROCKFORD RAMS 3
Jan. 31, 2020
By Regan Cleves
CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. - On a night where the two teams went a combined 3-for-10 on the power play, all four goals on Friday were scored during oddman situations, as the struggling Rockford Rams tallied two goals in the final four minutes to knock off the Catholic Central Cougars 3-1 at Cedar Park SportsPlex. Ryker Christian led the way for the Rams, with two goals, including the game-winner late in regulation, and junior netminder Nolan Smith made 24 saves for his fourth win of the campaign.
Catholic Central (8-7-3 overall; 4-3 conference) will take the ice on Saturday, when they host the Rue Division-leading Reeths-Puffer Rockets (12-4-2; 2-2-1) at 6:30 p.m. The Rockets lead the season series 1-0 after defeating the Cougars 2-1 at L.C. Walker Arena on January 15.
Rockford received a power play just 1:08 into the first, when Trevor Rublein was whistled off for a hook. Forty seconds into the man-advantage, Kyle Switzer picked up a loose puck in the right wing circle and fed it across the slot for a tap-in goal for Christian, his seventh of the campaign.
Catholic Central tied the game 7:40 into the middle frame when, on the power play due to a John Spero interference minor, a scramble ensued in front of the net off of a Jacob Onstott shot. The puck popped free and Harvey Holleman slid it to his linemate, Ben Clay, who buried it to tie up the game at one apiece.
The men between the pipes faced a decent amount of rubber over the course of the night, with Nolan Smith turning aside 24 Catholic Central shots and Ryan McClelland corralling 21 shots for the blue and white. Both schools also had to do their fair share of work on the penalty kill, as Rockford and Catholic Central combined 20 penalty minutes on the night.
It was on a penalty kill when Catholic Central would falter, as Kyle Switzer picked up the puck in the left corner and carried it behind the net, attempting a wraparound. McClelland made a fantastic save, stretching out the left pad to keep the puck out of the net, but the rebound came right to the tape of Christian, who tattooed the back of the net from the slot and gave the Rams the lead with less than four minutes to play.
Catholic Central would pull McClelland, looking to break through and tie up the game, but Jared Switzer had other things to say about it, tallying an empty-net goal at 16:36 to seal the victory for the Rams.
Three Stars: 1. RFD Christian (two goals, game-winning goal); 2. RFD Smith (W, 24 saves); 3. RFD K. Switzer (three assists)
Highlights: Not yet posted