Reeths-Puffer goalie Aaron Andrews (33) stops a shot off the stick of Mona Shores forward Gage Veltman during last Saturday’s regional title game at L.C. Walker Arena. Defending for R-P on the play are Rogan McEvoy (18), Jeremy Joyce
MUSKEGON — The Reeths-Puffer Rockets wanted to battle Mona Shores for the regional title heading into the playoffs.
“For Muskegon hockey, we wanted to play Mona Shores here,” R-P coach Eric Sikkenga said. “Mona’s the O-K Conference Tier 1 champion, and we got that opportunity. That doesn’t mean we thought we’d win, it was just the right thing for us to do.”
R-P got its wish, and took full advantage of its chance last Saturday, defeating Mona Shores 5-3 at L.C. Walker Arena for the 15-year-old program’s first-ever regional championship.
For Sikkenga, who has been coaching the Rockets for 13 of those 15 years, getting that first regional title was clearly a tremendous point of pride.
“It’s a program win,” Sikkenga said. “We’ve been swimming uphill for many years. We’ve built this program from the ground up, pounded sticks and nails.”
E. Kentwood ends Rockets’ run
BIG RAPIDS — After fighting hard to get their quarterfinal game to overtime Wednesday night, the Reeths-Puffer Rockets were deflated when East Kentwood scored the winning goal just 47 seconds into the extra period, ending their season with a 6-5 loss at Ferris State University.
R-P had trailed 5-2 late in the second period before roaring back with three unanswered goals to force overtime.
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