By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
The St. Michael-Albertville boys hockey team started the week with a tough loss against East Ridge.
East Ridge took the lead in the opening period on a goal by Connor NewKirk (unassisted). Matt Kisch answered with the tying goal early in the second period (power play, Eric Sjelin, Brett Marshall). Connor Greenwood followed to give the Knights a 2-1 lead (Andrew Benson).
East Ridge stormed back with three more goals later in the period. At the end of the second, STMA trailed 4-2. East Ridge added two more goals in the final period for a 6-2 win.
A bright spot in the game was that the Knights committed just a single penalty during the entire game. The loss dropped the Knights to 6-7-1 on the season.
Knights hang on to beat Saints
The second road game of the week saw the Knights travel to St. Francis to take on the Saints. St. Francis got out to a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Ben Falk (Lukas Abraham, Lucas Carroll) and Lukas Abraham (Carroll, Falk).
STMA broke through when Tyler Hayes scored later in the period (Cam Fuerstenberg), but the Knights trailed 2-1 after the first 17 minutes of play. The second period belonged to the Knights, as the team put up two goals. Connor Spetz scored the first (Tucker Bjorlin, Andrew Benson), and Cody Reckhard the second (Marshall Bjorlin, Hayes).
In the third period, Reckhard continued his big night by scoring the eventual game winning goal (Hayes, Trevor Zins). St. Francis got a power play goal from Falk late in the game (Kyle Wagner, Tanner Schmid), but the Knights held on for a 4-3 victory.
Knights fall to Rogers on “Hockey Day”
All of Minnesota celebrated “Hockey Day” in its own way along with host city Elk River. The Knights welcomed Rogers for a big rivalry game on HD Night.
The game went back and forth between the rivals. Rogers took the lead with a strong first period. Nate Weber scored the first goal almost five minutes into the game (Spencer Marchland, Travis Brown). Mitchell Motter added a second goal near the end of the period (Dustin Schoepke). Rogers outshot STMA 14-4 in the opening period.
The Knights tied the game in the second period by scoring two goals within seconds of each other. Logan Nelson scored (Connor Greenwood) first, cutting the lead in half. Just fifteen seconds later, Cody Reckard scored his third goal in two games to tie the score (Cam Fuerstenberg, Marshall Bjorlin).
Things came unraveled in the third period for the Knights. The Royals controlled the period by outshooting the Knights 18-4; a situation helped by three St. Michael penalties. The heavy shot dosage yielded three goals. Matt Hellickson scored the first early in the period (power play, Alexander Lorman, Branden Cecil).
Weber put one past Knights goalie Kyle Haden later in the period to make it 4-2 (Lorman, Blake Timm). Schoepke daggered the Knights with Rogers’ fifth goal a short time later (Brown, Nolan Walker).
Coach Jerr Johnson said his team had the Royals on their heels and just could not get the job done.
“We’ve been battling that all year in these close games where we’ve had teams on the ropes and we just couldn’t get the last bounce,” he said.
It was a tough week for Kyle Haden who played all three games and faced a lot of shots in each, including 41 against Rogers.
The Knights host Cambridge-Isanti on Thursday and Buffalo on Saturday.