The Wolfpack boy’s hockey team entered the week at 15-7 overall and 5-5 in the conference with a game against the Hastings Raiders (12-9-1) and the Holy Family Fire (18-5). Park had hoped to …
The Wolfpack boy’s hockey team entered the week at 15-7 overall and 5-5 in the conference with a game against the Hastings Raiders (12-9-1) and the Holy Family Fire (18-5). Park had hoped to capture two more wins just before section seeding and the section tournament but ended up splitting the week. Here is how it shook out for your Wolfpack.
On Feb. 7th, Hastings came to town for senior night and the arena was jumping, the stands were packed and there was a ton of energy in the building for the classic Highway 61 rivalry. The Raiders drew first blood with a goal at the 4:20 mark of the first period and it took the Wolfpack exactly nine minutes to even things up. Tyler Schwartz and Brendan Bloedel setup Jackson Rudh for the first park goal of the game and it was tied heading into the first intermission.
Park came out of the locker room with a different attitude, and it showed up on the ice. The Wolfpack scored three additional goals in the second period before Hastings knew what hit them. The first goal was scored by Gavin Moss with assists to Bloedel and Rudh at 3:40 of the second. Then at 10:34, Bloedel finally hit the back of the net with a little help from Owen Corkish. The fourth goal of the game went to another skater for Park, Camden Forys put one in at 12:16 with the help of Boston Weidner and Corkish, bringing the tally on the scoreboard to 4-1 Wolfpack. That is when one of the strangest goals of the season occurred.
The Raiders dumped the puck into the Park zone for a line change and Blake Vandehoef gave chase. Alex Harden, went behind the net to make a play on the puck and Vandehoef’s speed caught him off guard. Vandehoef quickly stole the puck from the Harden who rapidly tried to return to the crease, but it was too late, Vandehoef made a quick pass to teammate Brody Larsen to put the puck in the back of the net. The problem was, both Larsen and Bloedel were racing to the net, collided and down they went, sliding into the unsuspecting goalie, causing all three of them to follow the puck into the net for the goal. It was now 4-2 Wolfpack.
The Wolfpack came out strong in the third period, scoring 38 seconds in. Adam King connected with Maccoy Wohnoutka for the fifth goal of the game by as many Park skaters. Roughly one minute later, the sixth goal was scored by Tyler Schwartz, the sixth different skater to score. He was assisted by Rudh and Caden Schwartz. At 4:46, the seventh skater of the night to score was Weidner, assisted by Corkish and Max Kaplan and the Wolfpack were now up 7-2.
Hastings scored twice a few minutes later, first on the powerplay at 10:09 and then again, even strength at 12:12 and the game was now 7-4 Wolfpack. Park was not done scoring, but the final two goals went to skaters that had already scored. At 14:09, Corkish helped Moss score his second and then at 15:57, Corkish and Moss helped Bloedel score his second and the Wolfpack won 9-4 on Senior night.
A post on the Wolfpack social media stated that all three senior goalies played for Cottage Grove, but the official stats online only show Harden. The Raiders did have their radio crew along for the game and they did mention two different keepers names during the short part of the broadcast that was heard, so it is safe to accept the social media post as accurate, but there is no breakout of the stats.
Officially, Harden faced 28 shots, stopping four for a .857 save percentage. Park out shot Hastings 38-28 in the 9-4 win. Both teams had 12 penalty minutes on six infractions, Hastings scored on one of the six powerplays and Park was unable to convert on any.
On Feb. 9th, the boys made their way to Holy Family where they fell 8-4. The Fire scored first and they traded goals until the score was tied at three, that is when Holy Family stepped on the gas and added four unanswered goals to go up 7-3 in the second period. Each team scored once in the third for the 8-4 final.
Weidner scored the first Park goal with the help of Brayden Leazott and Adam Freimann. Tyler Schartz had the second goal of the first period thanks to the help of Rudh and the game was tied at two at the first intermission. Corkish tied it at three with the help of T. Schwartz and Rudh in the second. Caden Schwartz scored the final Park goal in the third with the help of Corkish and Rudh.
Holy Family put the puck on the net 37 times to Parks 20. Aiden Miller went for the first two periods in the net and he was replaced by Harden for the third period. Miller stopped 18 of the 25 shots he faced for a .720 save percentage and Harden stopped 11-of-12 for a .917 save percentage. Park had three power plays and Holy Family had one with neither team scoring a powerplay goal. Park spent two minutes in the penalty box on one infraction while Holy Family served six minutes for three infractions.
There is one game remaining in the regular season for the Wolfpack and that game is scheduled for Feb. 16th at 7:00 p.m. in Forest Lake, then it is on to sections.