With the recent Kalamazoo shootings in everyone's thoughts, the hockey teams from Big Rapids and Portage Central took the ice to play the game of hockey. The players and hockey programs wanted to show their support for the victims of the Kalamazoo shootings, so after player introductions, the teams came together at center ice to observe a moment of silence in honor of the victims. At the conclusion of the national anthem, the crowd cheered this display of unity and the team focused on the hockey game.
As the game started, the Big Rapids Cardinals came out playing hard and spent most of the first period in the Mustang zone. Big Rapids scored first when Connor McAdams and James Huntersmarck worked the puck up to River Spedowski, who took the puck wide and tried to pass it to a teammate in front of the net.