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Grand Rapids Hockey vs Holy Family-2018-Full Game

Grand Rapids Hockey vs Holy Family-Full Game-2018-Rapids' goalie Gabe Holum makes72 saves-Tied for 4th highest in MSHSL record book-Record is 76 saves in a regulation game

Grand Rapids Hockey vs Holy Family 2016 Hockey Day Minnesota

Grand Rapids Defeats number 2 Ranked Holy Family 5 to 3
Grand Rapids 5, Holy Family Catholic 3

It was a picturesque setting at Grussendorf Park near Southwest Elementary School. The weather was fantastic. The outcome may have been the best part of the event. Grand Rapids scored three times in the third period to defeat No. 2 Holy Family Catholic 5-3 to give the Thunderhawks their second outdoor win in Grand Rapids over the past three seasons.

The competition was set to be fierce. Holy Family had worked their way to second in the Let’s Play Hockey rankings – the highest the team has ever been ranked. The Fire came into the game on fire with a school-best 11 game winning streak. Amazingly, they had scored four or more goals in 15 consecutive games.

Holy Family seized first control of the game with a goal 1 minute, 55 seconds into the game. Ben Almquist picked up a bouncing puck in the neutral zone and went in on a clean breakaway against Grand Rapids goalie Gabe Holum. Almquist streaked up the left wing and tucked his shot just over the blocker and just under the crossbar.

Owning the first period is part of the Fire’s game. They had outscored opponents by a whopping 30-5 margin in the first period and hadn’t allowed a first period goal since December 28th against Stillwater. The nine-game first period shutout streak ended abruptly on the outdoor ice.

Grand Rapids leveled the score 18 seconds after the initial Fire tally. Senior captain Eric Soderberg slid a pass to the blue line for Brendan Mark. A blast by Mark made its way through traffic and into the net to tie the game at 1-1.

The visiting Fire had a 17-12 shot edge in the first period. Grand Rapids would own that category by a 33-9 margin the rest of the game.

Sometimes the pretty goals are hard to come by in outdoor games. After all, there are elements like snow that players typically don’t have to deal with inside. That wasn’t necessarily the case on Saturday morning.

The Thunderhawks grabbed their first lead of the game when Alex Adams scored the first of his three goals in the game. North Dakota recruit Gavin Hain made a great pass on a two-on-one rush. Adams took the puck in stride, walked around the goalie, and tapped the puck into a yawning net to make it 2-1.

Holy Family scored twice in a 3 minute, 27 second stretch in the back half of the second period to regain the lead at 3-2. Brady Ziemer delivered a shot through traffic on the power play to tie the game. Then, the Fire scored a beautiful goal of their own to get back in front. Ben Almquist fed Tyler Rock on a tick-tack-toe passing play. Boom. Goal.

Grand Rapids drew a penalty and went to the power play with 2 minutes, 6 seconds remaining in the second period. That power play may have ultimately changed the course of the game, but not for the reason you would think.

The Thunderhawks immediately won the faceoff in the attacking zone, but turned the puck over at their own blue line. Another clean breakaway for Holy Family ensued. Then, Holum turned in the save of the game. Maybe the save of the season. The shot came in high on the glove side and Holum lunged to get body on the puck and deny the opportunity.

Rapids was unable to score on the power play. They were able to avoid allowing a backbreaking shorthanded goal. The electric pro-Thunderhawks crowd came to its feet in support of their goaltender and the hometown team. Momentum is a massive part of high school hockey and it swung in favor of the black and orange clad Thunderhawks at that moment.

That momentum carried over to a third period that saw Grand Rapids outshoot Holy Family by a 17-1 margin.

It took only 77 seconds for the Thunderhawks to tie the game in the final stanza. Hain atoned for a couple of penalties in the early phases of the game by ripping home the game tying goal. Another beautiful passing play set up the goal. This time it was Mr. Hockey finalist Mitchell Mattson and Adams that set up the goal.

Adams scored the game-winning goal 77 seconds after the Hain tally. The fourth goal has been the golden ticket for the Thunderhawks this season. They improved to 16-0-0 on the season when scoring at least four times. On the flip side, they are a measly 1-6-1 when scoring fewer than four goals.

Holy Family took a timeout with a little more than three minutes remaining, but were never able to generate a scoring opportunity. With Fire goalie Jared Moe on the bench in favor of an extra attacker, Adams scored again to complete the hat trick and put the nail in the coffin.

Moe was tremendous in a losing effort for the Fire. He stopped 40 of 44 shots sent his way.

Grand Rapids improves to 17-6-1 on the season with the win, and they are 7-6-1 against teams ranked in the top 20 or receiving votes. The Thunderhawks have won four straight games for the third time this season. They also have produced at least 45 shots in the last three games. Two of those were against ranked opponents. By Tim How-GRHS Hockey

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