BY DAVE PEDERSEN
The Delano/Rockford/Buffalo girls hockey team had something to prove after going scoreless in four straight games.
The ice was broken with a 4-2 victory over Moorhead in the first round of the Centennial tournament. The added confidence came in handy when the Bison took on No. 2 ranked Wayzata the next night.
Coach Ray Dahlof called it his team’s best game of the year when outshooting Wayzata 26-22 in the 2-1 loss. Rylan Bistodeau scored the lone Bison goal. The Bison almost went ahead with five minutes left in the game when Abby Halluska was hauled down on a breakaway attempt, leading to a power play chance.
The Bison had two decent shots but failed to score. With less than a minute and a half left it appeared the game was heading for overtime, but Wayzata (13-1-1) scored with 1:16 left on a seemingly harmless shot from the point.
Against Moorhead, the Bison outshot the Spuds in all three periods, but ran into a hot goalie. Bison goals were netted by Kirsten Loson, Allison Roethke, Lindsay Roethke and Halluska.
“It was a big win for us because Moorhead is in our Section 8AA, so this win will help us at section seeding time in February,” said Dahlof.
It is back to facing standout Class AA teams such as Minnetonka, 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4. A rematch against Wayzata is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 7 at Plymouth Arena. The team plays at Orono, 7 p.m. Jan. 7.
The Rockford-Delano boys hockey team had trouble finding the net in losing the first two games at the Duluth tournament before unleashing frustration on Madison in a 7-0 victory.
Ben Meyers led the win with two goals and three assists. Also scoring was Hunter Hart, Jeff Linna, Gabe Halonen and Adam Eskola. Brent Norling made 19 saves in the shutout. The junior goalie returned to action in Duluth after being out with a broken thumb suffered playing football.
Norling stopped 29 of 31 shots in a 2-1 loss to Superior in the Duluth tourney. Chet Halonen netted the goal. Delano-Rockford opened the tourney with a 5-1 loss to Notre Dame Academy. Ben Meyers scored the goal while Norling stopped all 10 shots he faced. Goalie Tyler Rizzardi stopped 16 of 21 shots.
The team is home against New Ulm, 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at Orono, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7 and home against Mound-Westonka, 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9.