by MATTHEW DAVIS
Champlin Park boys hockey will cap an eventful week with their cross-river rival Anoka on Saturday.
Their last two meetings have resulted in overtime contests, both won by the Rebels. The match up with the Tornadoes concludes a busy past week-and-half for the Rebels.
It started with a second-place finish in the Bronze Division for the Schwan Cup on Dec. 26-28. The Rebels also had their alumni game on Sunday, Dec. 29, and the varsity team worked the youth program’s Mites tournament Dec. 30-31.
“It’s fun just to interact with the kids, get out and play with them and give back to the community a little bit,” Rebels senior center Danny Eggerichs said.
The community will certainly return the favor in support the Rebels in the clash with the Tornadoes. That game not only involves bragging rights also section seeding. The Tornadoes (5-5-1, 2-2 Northwest Suburban) have a nearly identical record to the Rebels (5-6, 2-3 NWSC).
“They’re very well-coached, they work extremely hard,” Rebels coach Pat Janostin said.
Both teams will come fresh off of playing in the annual Schwan Cup tournament. The Tornadoes finished third in the Bronze Division by beating Blake 3-1 on Saturday, Dec. 28.
The Rebels beat Chanhassen 4-1 and Blake 6-2 on their way to the title game for the Bronze Division with Rogers on Saturday, Dec. 28. Bryce Plunkett had two goals for the Rebels in each of the first two games of the tourney. Max Turgeon scored a couple goals for the Rebels in the win against Blake.
“We were pleased,” Janostin said about the tournament run. “The main thing we try to do is get better every single game of the season.”
Against Rogers, the Rebels rallied twice in the third period to tie, but a late goal by the Royals sealed the game 4-3. Eggerichs scored for the Rebels quickly in the third period as he crashed the net with an assist from Jacob Aberwald. It tied the game 2-2.
“We came out with a lot of energy and we got to the puck pretty good,” Aberwald said.
A power play goal at 11:35 by the Royals put them ahead again 3-2, their second power play goal of the game. Aberwald and Eggerichs connected again for a score only 20 second later with Aberwald getting the goal this time around.
“We just got to the puck, moved our feet, got to the net and pound it in,” Aberwald said.
Tied 3-3, Jacob Walker put the Royals up to stay at 15:12 with a goal. Janostin pulled goalie John Brey to give the Rebels and extra skater in attempt to tie it late. While the Rebels crashed the net several times and avoided an empty-netter, they could not get another puck past Royals goalie Jackson Nelson.
“I think we got five or six good chances,” Janostin said.
Brey had 23 saves in the loss. Plunkett had the Rebels’ first goal of the game, his fifth of the tournament.
A four-game winning streak ended for the Rebels, a stretch where they had scored 20 goals. They look forward to rebounding Saturday with the Tornadoes in town.