By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
The STMA hockey team played in a holiday tournament over the weekend and picked up a couple of wins it needed. The Knights also picked up a tie (actually a shootout loss).
The tie came against Luverne. Both goals came in the opening period. Luverne scored first, with Gunnar Olson picking up the goal (Logan Norman, Connor Hoffman). STMA answered late in the period with a goal by Connor Greenwood (unassisted).
The Knights dominated the shots on goal statistic, but could not tally another score. The game went to overtime, but neither team found a response. Since a tournament needs a victor, the game went to a shootout, and Luverne finally managed the game winning goal for a 2-1 victory.
Knights defeat Minneapolis and Irondale, take home consolation championship
STMA moved on to face Minneapolis in the second day of the Schwans Cup. The Knights climbed to a lead just a couple minutes into the game on Eric Sjelin’s first career varsity goal (Connor Smith, Connor Greenwood). Later in the opening period, Logan Nelson scored on the power play to extend the lead to 2-0 (Jack Kelly).
After a scoreless second period, Minneapolis quickly scored at the beginning of the third to cut the lead to 2-1 on an Evan Winter goal (Stellan Christenson). The Knights restored the lead with a goal by Trevor Zins, the first of his own career (Smith). STMA scored again to make it 4-1 on a power play goal by Tyler Hayes (Connor Spetz).
STMA’s defense played well, as Trent Olson needed only to stop 11 shots (out of 12).
The Knights faced Irondale for the consolation championship in the final day of the Schwans Cup. Once again, the Knights climbed out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Goals came from Nelson (Hayes, Cam Fuerstenberg) and Spetz (Tucker Bjorlin, Greenwood).
Kilen Eilefson scored in the second period to draw Irondale closer (Louie Meysembourg, William White), but the Knights pulled away again with a goal by Hayes (Fuerstenberg, Zins). In the third, Fuerstenberg made it 4-1 (Spetz, Hayes) and Spetz scored his second to cap the scoring at 5-1 (Bjorlin, Brett Marshall).
With the victories, STMA moved back within a game of .500 at 5-6. Kyle Haden stopped 20 of 21 shots to earn the victory.
The Knights take a break before picking things up again in mid-January. Head coach Jerr Johnson said he looks forward to getting his players ready for the next conference game and building off of the two tournament wins.