CJ Franklin’s hat trick spurs win
A pair of home games went in different directions for the Forest Lake boys’ hockey team last week. The Rangers beat East Ridge 4-1 on Tuesday and lost 6-3 to Cretin-Derham Hall on Saturday.
Senior CJ Franklin scored a hat trick in the win over the Raptors. Forest Lake led throughout, but the Rangers did not dominate as much as the final score would indicate.
“We barely got 15 shots on net, which was a product of poor decisions in the offensive zone and slow transitions all night long,” said coach Aaron Forsythe. “I thought we were lucky to come out of the second period the way we did and most of that had to do with the solid play of Jesse Garcia who kept us in the game up to that point.”
Garcia finished with 18 saves. Franklin scored twice in the first period and once in the third. Tommy Tyson scored a shorthanded goal in the second period to extend the lead to 3-1. Eric Herbert and Lucas Kohls each assisted on two goals. JT Jurasin also notched an assist.
Saturday’s game went scoreless for 15 minutes before the floodgates opened. Lucas Kohls put the Rangers up, but Cretin-Derham Hall answered less than a minute later to tie the game at the first intermission.
Brett Gravelle gave Forest Lake another lead 50 seconds into the second period. Again, the Raiders responded, scoring two straight goals in the middle of the period. Franklin scored the equalizer at 11:34, but goalie Marc Petrykowski would stonewall the Rangers from there on.
Cretin took the lead late in the second period. Garcia relieved Brian Levorson in the third, but the Raiders pushed the lead to two with a shorthanded goal. An empty-netter made the final 6-3.
Tyson, Cody Rogala, Jack Schmidt and Noah Brown earned assists for Forest Lake, which had the advantage in shots on goal, 38-32.
“It was a frustrating one because of the number of opportunities we gave ourselves to score with nothing to show for it,” Forsythe said.
An encouraging development was the return of Schmidt, a defenseman. The junior, who was a varsity regular last season, had been out all winter while recovering from a broken ankle suffered during the football season.
“Jack played well and accumulated more and more ice time as the night went on,” Forsythe said. “We’re excited to have him back for the second half of the season.”
The Rangers are on the road this week with games at Hastings tonight (Jan. 12) and Stillwater on Saturday.