By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
The Knights hockey team split a pair of gritty games and continued to hover around the .500 mark.
Thursday saw STMA make the trip to face St. Cloud Tech at the Municipal Athletic Complex. The first period saw a goal by Cody Reckard (Mitch Bourgerie, Casey Crandall). Despite being outshot 8-4 in the first 17 minutes, the Knights took a one goal lead to the second period.
Tech’s Kaleb Woodman tied the game nearly five minutes into the second period (Alex Keller, Max Webb). After two periods of play, the teams remained tied 1-1. In the third period, Tyler Hayes scored the tie-breaking goal in the first minute (Kevin McDonald, Jack Kelly).
Braden Altena made it a tie game once more with a goal at the 4:54 mark (Brody Davidson). With just a couple minutes left, Reckard scored the game winning goal (Marshall Bjorlin, Brandon Hieber). The Knights took it by a 3-2 score.
Coach Jerr Johnson said the game was a really good win for the team.
“We’ve been trying to get over that .500 mark all year, and we got back to it,” he said.
The Knights had a fast start against the Wildcats when Reckard scored the opening goal to give his team a 1-0 lead (Connor Spetz, Marshall Bjorlin). Shots were even at nine apiece after one period.
STMA gained a two goal lead on a Connor Greenwood goal in the first few minutes of the second period (Tucker Bjorlin, Logan Nelson). The Knights seemed in good shape. However, disaster struck when Spetz suffered a concussion. He did not return.
After the injury, the Wildcats took it to the Knights. Ryan Chambers broke the shutout about halfway through the period (Zak Lambrecht, Blake Lizzotte). Late in the period, CJ Haskins tied the game 2-2 (Trevor Lushanko, Brandon Gillespie).
The relentless attack saw the Wildcats outshoot the Knights 27-5 in the second period. Early in the third, the Wildcats took the lead on a Lushanko power play goal (Lambrecht, Lizotte). Mitch Bourgerie gave the Knights life with the tying goal minutes later (Connor Smith, Jack Kelly).
The Knights lost Nelson in the third period to an injury, which hurt the team further. On this night, the Wildcats proved too tough to tame. Lushanko gave Chisago Lakes the lead for good at 15:19 (Landon Lushanko).
Johnson chose to focus on the positives from the game, including the 2-0 early lead and solid goaltending.
“Our goaltender Trent Olson played fantastic. He was awesome.” Olson registered 48 saves out of 52 shots on the night. STMA had been 7-0 when leading after the first period.
The Knights played Coon Rapids on Monday night. More on that game next week. The Knights welcome Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake to town on Thursday.