In a hard-fought, evenly matched battle, East Grand Rapids defeated Forest Hills Northern/Eastern 5-4 Friday night at Patterson Ice Center.
FHN/E had leads of 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2, but each time they took the lead, the Pioneers were able to answer. Then East took a 4-3 lead in the third period, only to have FHN/E come back to tie the game. Ben Forstner finally won it for the Pioneers when he scored a power play goal with four minutes left in the game.
Ian Famulak opened the scoring for FHN/E before Nate Milanowski scored for East, assisted by Jack Miller and Jake Stewart.
In the second period, Famulak again gave FHN/E the lead when he scored a shorthanded goal. But Colin Stecco tied it with a power play goal assisted by Jake Adams and Stewart. Famulak then completed the hat trick to give FHN/E a 3-2 lead before Forstner tied it at 3-3 with a power play goal assisted by Mike Malewitz.
Malewitz scored the first goal of the third period, assisted by Stecco and Forstner, to give the Pioneers their first lead of the night. With FHN/E on the power play, Josh Boverhof tied the game at 4-4.
It remained deadlocked until Forstner scored the game winner, roofing a shot for another power play goal assisted by Malewitz and Jake Adams.
Each team put 29 shots on the opposing goal. Lukas Schut earned the victory in net for the Pioneers.