Big Rapids hockey team prepares for East Grand Rapids

Big Rapids’ hockey team celebrated the regional title after the win on Saturday at home. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BIG RAPIDS — Two evenly matched high school hockey teams will be facing each other on Wednesday when Big Rapids (14-13-1) takes on East Grand Rapids (20-5-19) at the Summit Ice Arena near Lansing.

Bug Rapids went 3-0 to win its regional including an 8-0 win over Mount Pleasant in Saturday’s title game.

East Grand Rapids blanked Lumen Christi 7-0.

“We played East Grand Rapids over Christmas break and it was a pretty evenly matched game,” Big Rapids coach Tim Blashill said. “They went 3-2 on us in the first period. We went 3-2 on them in the second, including two goals for us under a minute to go. Nothing in the third until they scored with eight seconds left, to beat us 6-5.

“It’s a talented team, led up front by Colin Stecco (45 points) and Jacob Adams (29 goals) and good goaltending. Although our first game was a bit of a shootout, I thought both goalies, Andrew Disu for Big Rapids and Harris-Trent for EGR played well.”

The game faces off at 7:50 p.m. The winner plays at 1:30 p.m. on Friday at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth against either Detroit Country Day (21-4-2) or Detroit U-D Jesuit (20-8-1) in a state quarterfinal game.

“I think our boys have really bought in to the game plan, and are playing some of their finest hockey right now,” Blashill said. “We’ve scored first in the three previous playoff games, so we’re definitely looking to get out in front first. But I like the way our team is responding no matter who scores first, so I think we have a great confidence about us right now, but we are also grounded as we know this team beat us in the regular season, like Midland and Flint. 

“It was a really special week of hockey for us, culminating in us getting a chance to win the regional on our home ice for the first time. I would like to thank all of the fans and supporters who came out and truly helped our team capture the regional championship. That being said, this is the third straight year we have been to this quarterfinal game, losing the previous two. I know our team is focused, and really determined to win this game, and I believe our past experience will help in that regard.”

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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 jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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