Cardinals, minus regular goalie, whip Cheboygan

Thomas Holt looks to make a move with the puck.

BIG RAPIDS — Big Rapids’ hockey team is without its starting goalie, but the Cardinals still emerged on Saturday with a 9-1 rout over Cheboygan at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

Big Rapids was up 4-1 after the first period and 8-1 after the second. The Cardinals scored early in the third to end the game on the mercy rule.

Thomas Crandell scored the hat trick for the Cardinals, who are 4-2 overall, while River Spedowski and Cameron Massy added two goals apiece. Ben Carroll and Jon Spedoske had one goal apiece.


“I thought our guys played much better in the second period than in the first,” Big Rapids coach Tim Blashill said. “We hadn’t played since Thanksgiving weekend.”

“I thought we played a good game,” Spedowski said. “We played really hard. We had some systems to work on in the beginning, but we handled it well.”

Backup goalie Andrew Disu was in the net and may be there for awhile, Blashill said.

No. 1 goalie Eric Standen was injured in practice during the week in what Blashill described as a “severe whiplash” and could be out around four weeks.

“Andrew didn’t get tested a ton, but when he did he made the stop and some good saves,” Blashill said.

The Cardinals currently don’t have a backup, although Blashill smiled and said forward Ike Robert might be thrust into action if necessary.

The Cards have a JV goalie, Evan Bowen, who will practice with the varsity, but Blashill indicated Bowen could not return to the JV this season, once he’s on the varsity.

Big Rapids plays in the Gaylord Showcase this weekend, with one of the opponents being state contender Flint Powers and Chelsea.

“They’re both very good teams and it will be a good test for us.” Blashill said.



Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at

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