Please note that YHH has two separate bantam rankings, AA and A. When reading this story the ranking #’s can be confusing unless the reader understands that. Mahtomedi was ranked the top bantam A team heading into this weekend’s play; Wayzata was ranked the #1 bantam AA team. Both A and AA teams played in Hastings Big Chill Tourney.
Saturday, YHH ranked #1 Mahtomedi A had to “turn the corner” at Hastings’ Big Chill tournament. The Big Chill this year featured a 10 team bantam A tourney and an 8 team bantam B tourney. The Zephyrs’ Bantam A had to win two tough games in 7 hours.
The Zephyrs made it to the second round of the tourney by beating #17 ranked Cottage Grove A 7-0 in the opening game. For Saturday’s 10:15 AM game, they had to beat #28 ranked Crow River A and to complete “the corner” had to beat #15 ranked Anoka AA in a 3:30 PM game. Mahtomedi beat Crow River 5-3 and lost to Anoka AA 3-0.
The #28 ranked Eastview Lightning Bantam AA’s had to turn the same corner. Friday, Eastview beat #8 ranked Tartan A 5-2 to get there. Saturday, the Lightning played #26 ranked Orono A at 11:00 AM and #32 ranked host Hastings AA at 4:15 PM. The Lightning beat Orono 4-1 and lost to Hastings 4-1. They failed to turn the corner also.
In the Zephyrs 10:15 AM game with Crow River, Mahtomedi’s jumped out to a 3-1 lead at the end of the first period. The Zephyrs’ Matt Schwartz got the first goal a minute into the game. Alec Wedell got the assist. Three minutes later, Joe Forciea scored to give Mahtomedi a 2-0 lead. Tyler Chalupsky got the assist.
The Zephyrs’ third goal came late in the third period on a power play. Crow River drew a major for checking from behind. Schwartz got his second goal of the game. This time, Jack Heinsch got the assist. Crow River scored a shorthanded goal ten seconds later on a solo by the Tiger’s Gabe Halonen.
The second period was dominated by the Zephyrs except for the last 5 minutes. Mahtomedi controlled the puck in the Tiger’s zone for long periods of “hockey” time (a minute on the clock can be an eternity, ask a goalie). Despite the pressure, Mahtomedi could not get shots on the Tiger’s goal. They ended up with only 5 shots in the second period.
At the 5 minute mark, the game started to shift. Crow River started to build pressure in the Zephyr’s zone. The Tigers scored with a minute on the clock. Crow River’s Brandyn Wales scored from the right faceoff on a deflected shot. The Tigers’ Jesse Lawman and John Keranen got the assists. Going into the third period, it looked like a game that would go down to the wire.
It did not. A minute into the third period, Mahtomedi’s Jared Fladebo scored on a solo to put the Zephyrs up 4-2.
Crow River had to survive a 5-on-3 penalty situation at the 10 minute mark, but the edge was off the game after the Zephyrs scored their fourth goal.
Mahtomedi’s Andrew Kangas scored a neat goal late in the third, cutting across the Tiger crease right to left and backhanding the puck into the net to put the Zephyrs up 5-2. The Tiger’s scored on a breakaway in the last minute of the game. The Tiger’s Ben Meyers (and a YHH top 50 peewee pick from last season) got the goal. He beat the Zephyr’s goalie on the left side. Nick Schreyer got the assist.
Eastview and Orono played to a scoreless tie for almost two periods. “Almost” because in the last minutes of the second period, both teams scored. The Lightning tended to dominate the game in the first period. Eastview was constantly setting up in the Spartan’s zone. Orono was occasionally gaining control in the Lightning zone and pressuring the Lightning goal.
At the 2 minute mark, Eastview started to build pressure in the Spartan’s zone. The Lightning moved the puck around the permeter took a hard shot on the net from the left blue line. The puck never left the ice. Eastview’s Andy Cole, locked in a battle to screen the Spartan goalie, managed to get his stick around the defender and deflect the puck slightly. The goalie, positioned to make the original save, couldn’t react to the tip and it slid by him into the left corner of the net. Justin Weinberg and Jake Ford got the assists.
The 1-0 Lightning lead lasted about 2 minutes. The Spartans came back strong after that goal and pressured the Lightning goal. With one second left on the clock, Orono’s Revis Stephenson scored from the left faceoff on a high hard shot to the right corner. Riley Vieth got the assist.
Going into the third period, it looked like another barn burner developing. Orono had the first opportunity when a hard hit in center ice resulted in a tripping penalty on Eastview. The Eastview bench reaction to the play drew an unsportsmanlike minor. Suddenly Orono had a 5-on-3 advantage for 90 seconds at the 10 minute mark.
The Spartan’s never got organized on the power play. It got worst for Orono when Eastview’s Cole Anders took a hard shot on an Orono shot from the Eastview blue line. The puck bounced forward into the neutral zone with Anders chasing it. He picked up the puck and soloed into the Orono goal beating the goalie low right to put the Lightning up 2-1.
Thirty seconds later, Eastview scored on a three man rush. Andrew Tuthill scored. Connor Osborne got the assist. Eastview suddenly led 3-1 with 8 minutes left on the clock. The game pace picked up after the Lightning’s third goal, but Orono was shut down by the Eastview defense in the third period. Late in the third, Davis DeBoom scored the Lightnings’ fourth goal. Bryce Kelley and Osborne got the assists.
Sunday, Eastview and Mahtomedi play for third place. Hastings and Anoka play for the Big Chill Bantam A title.