BY DAVID PEDERSEN
Both area girls and boys hockey teams started fast from the gate this season, each winning two holiday tournament games.
The Delano-Rockford boys opened the Blake Tournament by edging league rival Waconia 3-2, before defeating host Blake 6-3.
Meanwhile, at the Bison Turkey Shoot tournament in Buffalo, the home squad that includes players from Rockford, Delano and Buffalo outscored opponents 26-0.
Jack Nelson, Hunter Hart and Eric Ylitalo provided goals against Waconia and senior goalie Aaron Grangroth made 20 saves. Delano-Rockford put 34 shots on the Waconia net.
Against Blake, special teams played a factor when the team scored twice on the powerplay and twice when shorthanded. Justin Oja was credited with both shorthanded goals, one being an open netter in the third period.
Ylitalo scored one of his two goals on the powerplay. Adam McLain also benefited by the man advantage. Nelson added the other goal and sophomore goalie Brent Norling made 26 saves.
Delano-Rockford next plays at home against Chanhassen, 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29. The team is home to Providence Academy, 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. A big game at state and section power Breck is set for 3 p.m. Dec. 8.
The girls defeated Brainerd/Little Falls 14-0 and Fort Frances, Ontario 12-0. Goalie Lindsay Hartfiel earned both shutouts, stopping a total of 20 shots.
Against Brainerd/Little Falls, Katie Rooney and Lindsay Roethke both netted the three-goal hat trick. Ashley Effertz, Madi Jewell and Emily Weigand had two goals each. Also scoring was Emily Varner and Allison Roethke.
“We have been scoring in bunches in our first three games,” said coach Ray Dahlof. “The nice thing is that we are getting goals from all three forward lines and the defenders.”
The Bison prevailed over Fort Frances in a “rough penalty marred game.” Fort Frances took 36 minutes on 15 penalties, while the Bison had 10 minutes on five penalties.
“Our goal is to take two or less penalties per game,” adds Dahlof. “The game got out of hand during the first period. Our speed and skill frustrated them and they resorted to stick-work and hitting.”
Lindsay Roethke scored five goals, while linemate Rooney had six assists to go with her one goal. Effertz scored twice with solo scores coming from Jewell, Varner, Abby Halluska and Sydney Martichuski.
In other Turkey Shoot action, Red Wing beat North Wright County 5-4 in overtime. Totino-Grace beat Fort Frances 6-3. Red Wing beat Fort Frances 5-4 and North Wright County beat Brainerd/Little Falls 10-0.
The Bison will get a true test on Thursday, Nov. 29 when the team takes on highly ranked Anoka at home. The team also is home against Rogers Dec. 4 and North Wright County Dec. 6.