By Alex Plough
MUSKEGON – Bad bounces and turnovers in its own zone plagued the Reeths-Puffer hockey team Wednesday night against visiting Byron Center, resulting in a 6-1 loss for the Rockets at L.C. Walker Arena and bringing their three-game winning streak to an end.
Byron Center wasted no time on the offensive attack. The Bulldogs’ Mason Breit found the back of the net just two minutes into the game. Goals from Nik Schepers and Brady Breit gave the Bulldogs a strong 3-0 lead going into the second period.
Reeths Puffer’s Caden Brainard got his team on the board late in the second period, scoring on a pass from Quinn Fowler and cutting the deficit to two. But the comeback was short-lived.
A turnover in the Rockets’ zone allowed Byron Center’s Carson Vincent to score a shorthanded goal with two minutes remaining in the second period, and the Bulldogs led 4-2 at the end of two.
The Bulldogs continued their offensive attack in the third period, with Brady Breit scoring his second goal of the night on a power play at 7:53, and Mason Breit also collecting his second goal at 12:33.
Goaltender Nick Meyering suffered the loss in net for the Rockets, stopping 17 of 23 shots. Levi Sall recorded the win in goal for the Bulldogs, stopping 22 of 23 shots.
The Rockets were weak on the power play, scoring only once in seven opportunities with a man advantage.
Reeths-Puffer Coach Bill Zalba said he informed his team before the game that this was going to be one of their toughest challenges of the season.
“They’re a solid team,” Zalba said. “Good coach, good team. Before the game, I told our guys that we have to go out there and make a statement, and we didn’t. It comes down to effort, competing, and we just didn’t have it.”
The Rockets fell to 3-1 on the season. They will travel to Cadillac on Friday.