BY DAVID PEDERSEN
It has been common place in recent years when the Delano-Rockford boys hockey team gets to face Breck in the Section 2A tournament.
It also is usual to find Breck as the No. 1 seed and defending section champ. The teams battled for the section title a year ago.
Delano-Rockford defeated Blake 5-2 Saturday to advance as the No. 4 seed to the semifinals against Breck, a game played Tuesday after this issue went to press. The title game is 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 a Parade Ice Garden.
“We really played well in the third period against Blake,” said coach Steve Brown. “The game was very tight through the first two periods with both teams not creating very much offense. It really seemed like neither team would take many chances and did not want to make a mistake.”
In the third period the game opened up with Delano-Rockford being able to capitalize on the tempo and open ice. The team was outshot 34-24 but made the most of the opportunities.
Justin Oja scored the three-goal hat trick to power the offense. Brown said it was a good indicator of his play and the leadership he gave in all three zones. The other goals were netted by Adam Eskola and Jack Nelson. Dan Keranan had three assists and Ben Meyers had two.
“Brett Norling was strong for us in goal,” adds Brown. “He played very aggressive and worked well with his defensemen.”
Brown said the difference in the Breck game could likely be a matter of how many offensive opportunities his team turns into scoring chances.
The state Class A tournament starts Wednesday, March 5 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The semifinals are March 7 and title game at noon March 8.