After a disappointing stretch over the break, the Fire hockey team was looking for a big turn around against third-ranked Grand Rapids on Friday night at the Victoria Ice Center. Tenth-ranked Holy Family came into the game after going 0-2-1 against difficult competition in the Sports Authority Holiday Classic.
The Fire got off to a quick start, with Nick Michel scoring his seventh goal of the year 4 minutes into the game off of assists from James Marooney and Ben Almquist. Grand Rapids tied the game on a short-handed goal later in the period, but Holy Family responded quickly with a goal by Joe Simon a minute later. Holy Family outshot the Thunderhawks 17-15 in the first period.
The Fire dominated the second period in terms of shots, with a 16-6 edge, but Grand Rapids capitalized on their opportunities, scoring two goals to take a 3-2 lead.
4 minutes into the third period, the Fire were on a 5 on 3 power play when Junior Brady Ziemer fired a shot past the Thunderhawk goalie Zach Stejskal, tying the game. Holy Family continued to test Stejskal, accumulating 45 shots before the end of the third period, but the Grand Rapids goaltender kept the game tied.
For the second game in a row, the Fire were going to overtime. Two minutes into OT, Ben Almquist carried a puck into the Grand Rapids zone and took a shot that rebounded off Stejskal, rebounding in front of junior Joe Hankinson, who buried the puck in the back of the net. The goal happened right in front of the student section and the Victoria Ice Center was full of pandemonium.
Holy Family outshot Grand Rapids 52-31 in the game to knock off the #3 team in state. Jared Moe continued his stellar play, tallying 28 saves.
The boys now take on a strong Blaine (8-2-1) team at Fogerty Arena in Blaine on Tuesday night at 7pm.