FL splits as offense sputters

Win over Park follows Roseville loss

Ninth-grader Brandon Rogers tries to bat down a puck before it gets to goalie Jesse Garcia during last week’s 4-1 loss in Roseville. (Photo by TLC Digital Images)

The Ranger hockey boys fired 75 shots on goal over the course of two games last week, but only came away with five goals, and one win.

“Scoring has become an issue for our hockey team,” said coach Aaron Forsythe. “We’ve just been snake-bitten the last few games.”

Forest Lake had scoring to spare at Park on Saturday, as most of those five goals came in a 4-1 win.

Park’s lone goal came first, giving the Wolfpack a lead early in the second period. Kyle VanTassel tied it up in the middle of the period, and it was all Rangers from there.

Lucas Kohls tallied what went on to be the game-winner with 11 seconds left in the second. Brett Gravelle and Tommy Tyson added third-period scores as Forest Lake outshot Park 38-29.

CJ Franklin had three assists, while Gravelle and Wes Kilpela had one apiece.

“I was happy with the way our kids stuck to our systems but we were lacking any real spark or intensity,” Forsythe said. “…We managed to score four goals but this team is capable of producing much more in games like that. Eventually we’ll emerge from this offensive slump and we’ll be a better team because of it.”

Still, the win was much needed following a frustrating result at Roseville on Thursday. The Rangers outshot the Raiders 37-33 but fell 4-1.

In the teams’ first two meetings this year (an overtime loss and a tie in which Forest Lake won a shootout), the Raiders trailed for most of regulation. This time, they took a 2-0 lead early in the second period. Cody Rogala pulled Forest Lake within 2-1 on a powerplay goal, but that would be all the Rangers could muster.

“A few bounces here or there and we could have easily had four or five goals that game,” said Forsythe, who felt his team dominated the pace of the contest.

Now 8-8-1 overall, the Rangers have seven SEC games left to make up ground. First, though, they played top-ranked Duluth East this Tuesday in a battle of Section 7AA members. Woodbury comes to town on Thursday and Forest Lake plays at Mounds View on Saturday.