BIG RAPIDS — Big Rapids’ hockey team will be going for its third straight regional championship and has gotten off to a 6-3 start

“I thought we had a good year again,” Big Rapids coach Tim Blashill said, looking at 2017-18.  “The past four years, we had Fletcher Bolda, our goaltender who started every game here except two. He was an unreal goaltender for us and leader. We’ll certainly miss Fletcher along with the other seniors we had. But we return a lot. I think our team is looking solid enough to take another run at a regional title.”

Eric Standen came in as a strong replacement for Bolda. But he sustained a neck injury in early December and is out until late July.

Other standout seniors Big Rapids graduated were defensemen Connor McAdams and Connor Lee plus forward James Hundersmarck, who tied for the lead in scoring with River Spedowski, who will be a senior.

Blashill has a 19-player roster.

Junior forward Ben Carroll had a hattrick in a 7-5 win over over Freeland in the title game of Big Rapids’ Christmas tournament.

Carroll, a junior, had two goals last Friday in a Big Rapids holiday tournament semifinal game over Wyandotte Roosevelt.

“That was the best we played together as a team,” Carroll said. “The D zone generates everything. From the D zone to the offense, that’s how we play.”