There were finally no ties for the Forest Lake boys hockey team this week, as they hit the road last Thursday to beat East Ridge, 3-1, and then traveled to Cloquet-Esko-Carlton on Saturday.
The Rangers won 7-3 after trailing 3-2 heading into the final period.
Both teams remained scoreless through the first period, but the Lumberjacks scored three unanswered goals in the second to take a cushioned lead. Forest Lake finally found the net with three minutes remaining in the second period when junior Brandon Rogers scored a power-play goal off passes from seniors Brett Gravelle and Alex Egle.
The Rangers took advantage of another power play three minutes later when senior Ryan Herbert scored to cut the Rangers’ deficit to one, 3-2. Senior Paul Stehr recorded the assist.
Senior Weston Kilpela tied things up three minutes into the third period off a pass from senior Taylor Marx, and seven minutes later, Forest Lake embarked on a rampage.
Marx came up with the go-ahead goal off passes from Kilpela and Herbert, then Herbert scored a goal of his own four minutes later to give Forest Lake a 5-3 lead.
Junior John Suess tallied the Rangers’ sixth goal with assists by Gravelle and Egle while senior Clayton Dahly sealed the win with 30 seconds remaining with a final goal off another assist by Egle.
Senior Jesse Garcia recorded 32 saves on the night, bringing his save percentage to .919 on the year.
In the win over the Raptors two days earlier, Gravelle scored two goals while Suess earned one. Garcia tallied 26 saves.
Last year, the Rangers fell 7-1 to C-E-C during the regular season and were knocked off by the Lumberjacks in the first round of section play, 5-2. This is the first time in three years the Rangers defeated C-E-C. Forest Lake also fell to the Raptors in their first matchup of last season, 4-1, before defeating them 5-3 in their final regular-season game.