The Forest Lake boys hockey team lost a close contest before rebounding for an easy win last week.

The week began with a narrow 4-3 loss at Roseville on Thursday, Dec. 16, a contest where the Rangers could not overcome a three-goal second-period outburst by the Raiders.

Freshman Malachi McKinnon notched the only goal of the first period to give the Rangers a lead after one, but Roseville scored three times in the first 11 minutes of the second period before senior Matthew Linder found the back of the net at the 12:58 mark.

McKinnon’s power-play goal at 3:52 of the final period retied the game, but Roseville scored at 10:56 of the third to claim the victory despite 26 saves by sophomore Andrew Saxe in goal.

Two nights later the Rangers rolled to a 9-2 victory at Irondale, scoring three times in the opening period before burying the Knights with a five-goal avalanche in the third.

Senior Gavin Middendorf scored twice in the first period, then earned the hat trick with a goal just 47 seconds into the third while adding two assists on the night. McKinnon scored late in the second period and twice in the third for his hat trick, and he also had two assists.

Senior Jordan Nelson, junior Nash Heikkila and sophomore Caden Speidel also had goals for Forest Lake, while senior Reese Maas finished with four assists.

Saxe earned the easy victory by stopping all but two of the 32 shots he faced.

The Rangers began this week with a home contest against New Richmond on Tuesday, Dec. 21, that was not completed at press time.

Forest Lake travels to East Bethel on Thursday, Dec. 23, to take on Northern Edge, the newly formed co-op team of players from North Branch and St. Francis, on Thursday, Dec. 23, starting at 7 p.m.

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