Hockey team makes history playing in the State Championship game

Hockey team makes history playing in the State Championship game

After a regular season record of 14-11-2, the boy’s hockey team was optimistic about the duration of their run in the playoffs. Starting back in November, the team has dedicated hours to training, lifting, and traveling. All of this preparation was going toward their end goal of winning the Division-3 State Championship. 

The team’s first match-up in the first round of playoffs was against Kenowa Hills. After winning 3-1 they moved on to the semi-regional finals. Next, the team won against Forest Hills Northern-Eastern 4-1. Despite the pioneers losing to the bird-dogs twice in their regular season they won that game moving on to the regional finals against Catholic Central. Catholic Central had also beaten them in their regular season but “leaving no doubt” the team beat the Cougars in an exciting match up 4-2. 

“Being back-to-back regional champs is something that I will remember for the rest of my life and it is a feeling that I still haven’t gotten over,” Danny Mcintrye ‘23 said. “The regional championship was something we had circled on our calendars since day one and we knew we needed to accomplish it.”

Winning the regional championship for the second year in a row, the team was ecstatic to make the trip back to Ferris State University for State Quarterfinals against Bay Reps. Not only were the boys pumped to have made it so far into the playoffs, but also the amount of energy brought by fans, parents, and students was unmatched.

“Having the fans and stew at these past playoff games has been unreal and has brought the teams energy up like nothing else this year,” Mcintyre said. “When we saw the stew at the quarterfinal game we knew it was go time and we needed to get the job done for the stew and fans”. 

Beating Bay Reps 3-1, made this year’s team the third-ever EGR hockey team to advance to the final fours.

“It feels great to be able to clap back at anyone who doubted us,” Captain Tyler Sikkenga ‘23 said. “However the goal was never the final four, it has always been the state championship.”

Initially, the team was predicted to lose in the very first round of playoffs but they went far beyond what everyone thought was possible. On Sat March. 11, the team took down Houghton in overtime with a score of 3-2. Charlie Hoekstra ‘24 scored the winning goal sending them to the state championship the following day. 

Despite playing two hours away from East Grand Rapids, in Plymouth Michigan, many fans, family members, staff, friends, and students drove to support the pioneers. The boys were tied with six seconds left in the game when a player on Flint Powers had a breakaway and scored. Even though the team fell short of winning a state championship, they still made history being the second team in EGR hockey history to make it to the state championship game. 

The boy’s hockey team had an incredible season, and an even more successful run in playoffs, better than anyone could have predicted. In terms of next season, the reverend tour starts now.