A late goal by Lucas Kohls lifted the Ranger hockey boys to a 3-2 win and a big playoff upset in Grand Rapids Tuesday night. Forest Lake, seeded sixth, knocked the No. 11 Thunderhawks, seeded third, out of the Section 7AA tournament.
Grand Rapids had blanked the Rangers 6-0 on the same sheet of ice on Dec. 2. This time, the Thunderhawks again struck first, scoring just 34 seconds into the first period. Trevor Thompson’s second goal of the season tied it up later in the period.
The Thunderhawks reclaimed the lead in the second period, but Kohls would score to make it 2-2 heading in the the final period. His next goal, the game-winner, came with 6:37 to go. Ranger senior Brian Levorson turned Grand Rapids away several times down the stretch to protect the lead.
The Thunderhawks finish the season 19-7, while Forest Lake improves to 12-13-1.
The Rangers advance to the section semifinals to be held Saturday in Duluth. They take on the second seed, Andover (18-6-2), at noon at Amsoil Arena. Top seed Duluth East, ranked No. 1 in the state, takes on fourth-seeded Elk River at 10 a.m. to open the semifinals.