The Grand Haven-Spring Lake hockey team fell to 1-4 on the season with a loss to Reeths-Puffer on Saturday, 5-3.
The Rockets used a hot second period to take a commanding lead, netting three goals to break a 1-1 tie after the opening period. The Bucs scored one to stay within earshot, but couldn’t work it back in the final frame, matching Reeth-Puffer with one third-period goal.
Grand Haven did well to capitalize on power plays, finishing 3-for-6 with an extra man on the ice. Reeths-Puffer netted four such chances.
Derek Antol made 18 saves for the Rockets in the cage, while Aiden Steele stopped 25 for the Bucs.
The game began as a defensive battle with neither team finding the cage until just 7:19 remained on the game clock. Reeths-Puffer scored first on an even-strength goal by Tyler Ruple, assisted by Quin Fowler and William Benner.
Grand Haven answered with 2:45 left in the period as Clayton Cooper and Kyle Eveland set up Trevor Kalis for an even-strength goal.
The second period saw four power-play goals in all, with three going to the Rockets, who kicked off the frame with back-to-back goals, both off the stick of Christopher Hawkins.
Nathan Beers brought the Bucs back within one goal, cutting the deficit to 3-2 with an assist from Braden Nielsen with 10:36 left in the period.
Rylee Bonjernoor finished off the scoring frenzy with 6:33 left on the clock to take a 4-2 Rocket advantage into the final frame.
Cooper pulled Grand Haven back into the game with an early goal in the third period, assisted by Fox, with 13:30 to play. The rally fell short, though, as the Rockets locked down on defense through the end of the game, tacking on their fifth goal with 9:38 to play, courtesy of Ruple.
The loss drops the Bucs to 1-4 overall and holds their conference record to 1-1 on the season to hold fourth place in the Fischer division of the O-K Conference. Reeths-Puffer improves to 4-6 overall and 0-3 in the Rue Division of the O-K Conference, where they sit in fifth.
The Bucs return to the ice Wednesday to take on Mona Shores at the Lakeshore Sports Centre at 7:30 p.m.
Bucs, Lakers take on WMR
The Grand Haven and Spring Lake boys swim and dive teams took on the West Michigan Relay Meet on Saturday, an event meant to kick off the winter season with a few fun events without scoring totals.
The meet is intended as a soft opening for competition, giving coaches and athletes a chance to see where they stand at the outset of a long year of training. Many of the events are not regulation MHSAA races.
The two teams took home just one victory over the course of the meet, and it came in one of the three regulation events. Spring Lake took first overall in the 400 freestyle relay as Kevin Losee, Joey Wachter, Sam Sella and Cam Peel blasted a 3 minute, 12.88-second performance to defeat second-place West Ottawa by nearly four seconds. Grand Haven took eighth in the event as Eli Vandenbrand, Colin Kelly, Ethan Ball and Nick Wilson clocked in at 3:30.83.
Grand Haven’s best performance came in the final event of the day as Thomas MacDonald, Michael MacDonald, Mark Wilgenburg and Vandenbrand finished runner-up in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:30.92. Spring Lake took 13th with the team of Joe Westoff, Ethan Hare, Cameron Layson and Charles Brown in 1:47.62.
The meet kicked off with an NCAA favorite, the 400-yard medley relay. Spring Lake’s team of Wachter, Evan Schock, Eric Geshiere and Sella took eighth-place overall with a time of 4:00.01 highlighted by 52.28 backstroke leg by Wachter.
The Bucs finished 11th as Jack Timmer, Bryant Latchaw, Griffin Kelly and Miles Evink clocked in at 4:08.18.
Grand Haven fared better in the 200 breaststroke relay as Jackson Hamm, Thomas MacDonald, Latchaw and Colin Kelly took fourth with a time of 2:00.67.
Kevin Losee, Logan Streeting, Jake Fisher and Spencer Cobb took 12th for the Lakers.
The 500 progressive relay came next, where four swimmers complete 500 yards in increasing leg distances. Grand Haven took sixth overall in 4:29.09. Wilgenburg swam the 50-yard leg, Vandenbrand the 100, Wilson the 150 and Michael MacDonald the 200.
Spring Lake took 15th in the progressive with the team of Sella, Ben Hyen, Tyler Munch and Ed Lidke.
The two teams had a tight race in the 400 IM relay, where each swimmer swims a 100-yard individual medley. The Lakers team of Schock, Wachter, Jake Fisher and Cam Peel won the rundown, clocking in at 3:59.70, just ahead of Grand Haven’s 3:59.89 from Carter Brown, Ball, Colin Kelly and Thomas MacDonald.
Spring Lake cracked the top three in the 200 butterfly relay with the team of Charles Brown, Geschiere, Peel and Losee coming in at 1:39.23. Grand Haven took seventh with Griffin Kelly, Hamm, Wilgenburg and Aiden Latchaw at 1:44.54.
Caleb Reeves, Chris Akselberg, Mile Evink and Ethan Ball took 10th in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 8:22.91, while Connor Halberg, Collin Schock, Austin Clink and Munch took 14th for Spring Lake in 8:59.28.
The 200 backstroke relay, which requires swimmers to execute a freestyle relay exchange off the starting block and flip into backstroke position before surfacing, favored the Bucs as Brown, Michael MacDonald, Timmer and Aiden Latchaw took third in 1:45.56. The Lakers took 14th with the team of Caden Ruter, Geschiere, Hallberg and Luke Zuelke in 2:11.67.
The Lakers finished the meet with their dominant performance in the 400 freestyle before taking 13th in the 200 medley with Collin Chock, Evan Schock, Charles Brown and Zuelke clocking in at 1:54.02. Grand Haven’s team of Brown, Hamm, Griffin Kelly and Wilson came in at 1:46.56 for eighth.
In the diving portion of the competition, Spring Lake finished eighth overall with a total score of 267.45.
Johnny Meulenbelt, Wit Miller, Alex Reichel and James Handrich teamed up for the eight-place effort.
Fruitport wrestling finishes fourth
The Fruitport wrestling team finished in fourth place overall at their weekend invitational, totaling 123.5 points to finish behind Zeeland West (124.5), Shepherd (135) and Hart (198.5).
St. Louis took fifth ahead of Mona Shores in sixth, Hesperia in seventh, Three Rivers in eighth, Shelby in ninth, Whitehall in 10th, Mason County Central in 11th, Manistee in 12th, Lake City in 13th, Grant in 14th, Montague and Manton tied in 15th and Newaygo in 17th.
Four Trojans finished in the top four of their weight classes.
Crue Cooper finished 3-0 to take first place in the 171-pound division. Connor Sykes finished 4-1 for third place at 119 pounds. Dominic Dault finished 4-1 to take third at 135 pounds and Jayme Woodring finished 2-2 to take fourth place at 215 pounds.
Also winning matches for Fruitport were Trevor Wahr (3-2), Karl Glydewell (3-2), Aiden Vela (2-2), Evan Ludlow (2-2), Collin Leech (2-2), Savion Williams (2-2), Mason Brown (1-1), Brennen Martin (1-2), David Ross (1-2 and Patrick Faltinowski (1-2).