Welcome back Wilderness Nation! Well the best day of the year has come and gone and we were certainly treated to some great hockey and some unexpected results. Hopefully you were all able to spend the day as it was intended, in a recliner and watching some great hockey from the start of the day to the end. In case you missed the action we have you covered!
In the opening game the juggernaut that is Luverne hoping to play spoiler for St. Paul Johnson. The first period was a very even period, as both teams gave up 8 shots and neither goaltender buckled and kept it a scoreless first. The second, however, was the exact opposite as the teams managed to combine for NINE goals in the second. Jaxon Nelson found the back of the net just 15 seconds into the second period. Unfortunately, for Luverne they would give up the next 5 goals in a row, including the tying goal just 17 seconds later. They would take the lead 30 seconds after that and would not let up. Luverne would claw their way back to just down one by the end of the period and continue the pressure into the third. Finally, almost 15 minutes in, Luverne would tie the game up at 5. The elation would only last a few minutes as St. Paul Johnson would score what would be the deciding goal, taking the first game in an exciting 6-5 game. It was quite the upset as very few thought that St. Paul Johnson, myself included, had any chance to make this even a contest, much less take the win. Luverne has to move past this and fast to get back to being the dominant force they have been the rest of this season. St. Paul Johnson on the other hand can take this as a step in the road to attempt to make a run towards the state tournament.
In the second game it was the mighty St. Thomas Academy taking on a very talented Hill-Murray team. Much like our first game, it was a scoreless first period. Unlike our first game though, Hill-Murray really took it to STA, ending the period with a 12-4 shot advantage. In the second, the scoring opened up, but not quite as much as the first game. Each team found the back of the net with Hill-Murray taking the lead early in the second, and STA capitalizing on the power play, knotting it up in the middle of the period. The third period saw STA really turn it on, but Hill-Murray hung on and managed to fight off a late St. Thomas rush to force overtime. As overtime got underway, it was back and forth until four and a half minutes in, Jake Wittl scored, handing STA the cadets just their second loss of the season.
Well hope you all enjoyed Hockey Day In Minnesota as we get closer and closer towards the final push towards the State Tournament.