After a long weekend full of good games, the Richland Rangers Youth Hockey squirts team took second place in the Damon McLaughlin Memorial Tournament.
The Rangers lost 10-5 to Watford City Black on Sunday, November 21, but in that championship game and in the previous games, the Rangers played well on their home ice.
The game stayed close through the first period, as Watford City held a 3-2 lead going into the second period.
For the Rangers, Cooper Thiel, who was the star for the weekend overall, had both goals in the first to keep the score close.
Watford City wasted no time extending its lead in the second period, scoring two goals in the first three minutes to go up 5-2.
With eight minutes left in the second, though, Thiel struck again on a breakaway, netting a hat trick and bringing the Rangers closer.
Watford City closed the second period strong, scoring three more times in the remaining six-and-a-half minutes.
Both the Rangers and Watford City scored twice more in the third period. Thiel and Beckett Norby both scored for Richland.
To get to the championship game, the Rangers first had to win enough games between the three on Friday, November 19 and Saturday, November 20.
Richland emerged as one of the top teams out of those games, but one of the games turned into a thriller, in which the Rangers had to fight hard to win.
That game was played Saturday morning, and the Rangers were paired up against Crosby.
Richland ended up winning the game 13-11, but the Rangers trailed for a good portion of the game.
On top of that, Thiel took over and led the Rangers to the win.
He scored 12 goals.
He had some good help on the first goals he scored, but most of them were unassisted.
Thiel’s most important goals came in the third period, when he put the Rangers up 10-9 right away and scored three more times to hold the lead.
He wasn’t the only one who scored, though, as Aiden Alexander netted the first goal of that game for the Rangers. Alexander got an assist from Henry Maurer.
Norby also assisted Thiel on one of his goals.
Although the Rangers didn’t quite win the championship game, it was an overall great weekend for the squirts.
There is no tournament this weekend with the Thanksgiving holiday, but the hockey action will pick back up on December 3.
Starting then, the junior gold (high school boys) tournament will commence.