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St. Francis Squirt B’s beat Blaine in D10 5-3

By frederick61, 11/21/12, 5:15AM CST


St. Francis scores against Blaine in their 5-3 win but you have to love the parent reacting in the background as the puck crosses the goal line

While waiting for another game, this game came up against between two good squirt B teams.  At YHH, we have debated about covering squirt games on occasion, but could never agree on impact.  Our general rule in writing game stories is simple, the older the teams playing, the more critical the game story becomes.

From bantam up, the stories will tend to be more critical of the play; but from bantam down, the stories are factual but are written to encourage teams and players.  We want the kids to feel that any day at the rink, is a good day as someone once said.

At the squirt level, we are mindful that that the stories are about kids 8, 9, and 10 years old.  That is second, third, and fourth grade.  We want the kids at that age to read our stories.

My mother once said to me in front of my dad, “you shouldn’t be reading comic books, can’t you find something better to read?”  My dad pulled out his wallet and gave me a dollar and said go buy some more comic books.  He then told my mother that he would rather have his sons reading anything including comic books then not reading.

With that in mind, here is our first feature story of a squirt game complete with pictures.  We have not tried to change the game story structure that we use for all games we cover, from the Olympics to peewees; but have tried to aim the story at the 8-10 year old kids and hope that encourages all the squirts that played in the game to read it themselves.  We will occasionally do a squirt game story and based on your response, do more or less.

St. Francis plays in District 10 and the game last Thursday at Fogarty Arena in Blaine was a District 10 league game.  St. Francis calls its teams the Fighting Saints.  Most Minnesota hockey fans today like the Fighting Saints nickname.  It makes them think of the Minnesota Fighting Saints who played out of St. Paul in the 1970′s before the Xcel Energy Center was built.

The St. Francis Fighting Saints played the Blaine Bengals.  Since it was early in the hockey season, nobody knew who would win.  The teams were just starting to play hockey.  But it was a D10 game and D10 games are usually fun to watch.

The first period started with both teams being able to skate the puck up the ice once they gained control of the puck.  First the Fighting Saints would pass the puck to the sideboards and the wing would knock it into neutral ice.  The Fighting Saints center or other wing would pick up the puck and move it into the Blaine zone behind the net.

There the Blaine defense would take the puck and pass it to the sideboards and move the puck into the neutral zone.  The puck was constantly moving from one end of the ice to the other, but neither team could get a shot on the net.  This went on for the first minutes of the first period.   It was an “up and down” game.

Then for a minute of play, Blaine forwards controlled the puck and had two good shots on the St. Francis goalie.  St Francis goalie, Caleb Young, stayed on his skates and knocked both Blaine shots to the side.  He kept the Bengals from scoring early.

With 7 minutes left in the first period, St. Francis scored.  The Fighting Saints forward Cody Cheney scored on a breakaway.  Cody would get three more goals for a “hat trick” plus 1.  The goal was unassisted; nobody passed the puck to Cody before he scored the goal.  Cody took the puck from a Blaine player and scored.  St. Francis led 1-0.

A minute later, a St. Francis forward broke away again, but before he could shoot, Blaine’s forward Joey Smith caught the forward and knocked the puck off the St. Francis’ player’s stick.  Joey made a great back check.

Blaine put pressure on the St. Francis team for the next three minutes.  They put the puck into the St. Francis zone and took the puck away from the St. Francis defense in the corners.  They had a number of shots on goal, but could not score.

With 3 minutes left in the opening period, St. Francis scored again.  Cody Cheney got the goal.  Cody took the puck away from two Blaine players at the St. Francis blue line, skated the length of the ice and shot the puck into the upper left corner of the Blaine net (left is the goalie’s left hand, right is the goalie’s right hand).  St. Francis led 2-0.  Because Cody took the puck away from the Blaine players, the goal was unassisted.

In the last 3 minutes of the period, the teams played an “up and down” game; they played the same kind of hockey they played in the first minutes of the period.  The teams moved the puck from one end of the ice to the other, but nobody shot on the net.  The first period ended with St. Francis leading 2-0 even though Blaine had twice as many shots on goal (10 for Blaine and 5 for St. Francis).

The second period started with Blaine taking the puck to the St. Francis net and trying to score.  The St. Francis defense kept the Blaine players from scoring for the first two minutes, but Blaine forward Nolan Monteon circled behind the net and scored.  The goal was unassisted since Nolan took the puck from a St. Francis player.  Nolan’s goal cut the Fighting Saints lead to 2-1.

Twenty seconds later, St. Francis’s Ethan Smith intercepted a Blaine pass and passed to Cody Cheney.  Cody faked the Blaine goalie and got him down on the ice and scored over the goalie.  St. Francis led 3-1.  Ethan Smith got the assist since he stole the puck and made the pass.

Thirty seconds later, Blaine scored again.  This time Trenton Nelson took the puck from a Blaine player and skated in alone or “soloed” on the goalie.  He got the goalie to go down in the left side of the crease and moved the puck to the right side of the crease to the open net for the goal.  It was unassisted.  St. Francis’ lead was now only a single goal 3-2.

A minute later (and with 7 minutes left in the second period), St. Francis scored again.  This time, the Fighting Saints Corey Wilmer scored.  He beat the Bengals’ defense to tip the puck into the Blaine goal.  It was an unassisted goal.  St. Francis led 4-2.

Near the end of the second period, both teams drew penalties.  St. Francis got the first one for slashing.  A St. Francis player swung his stick hard on the wrists of a Blaine player carrying the puck.  Such a hit can seriously hurt a player and the ref immediately gave him a penalty.  St. Francis was given another penalty for interference when a St. Francis player stepped in front of a Blaine player chasing after the puck in the neutral zone.

Blaine could not score with the one player advantage, but those penalties slowed down the Fighting Saints play.  The second period ended with St. Francis leading 4-2.

The third period was played with running time.  St. Francis opened the third period by moving the puck into the Blaine zone.  They held the puck in the Blaine zone taking shots on the Blaine net.  After two minutes of play, St. Francis scored.

Cody Cheney took the puck from a Blaine player and shot at the net.  The puck deflected of a Blaine player into the goal.  It was Cody’s fourth goal and it was Cody’s third unassisted goal.  St. Francis led 5-2.

The game seemed over.  Both teams were tired and the puck was moved up and down again.  Hockey games can turn quickly.  A victory can never be taken for granted.

With 3 minutes left in the period, St. Francis was called for tripping.  A minute later, Blaine scored a power play goal.  Blaine’s Ben Wallraff scored from the top of the crease.  His teammate, Nolan Bethel shot the puck on the goalie and it bounced to Ben.  Nolan got the assist.  St. Francis led 5-3.

A minute later, St. Francis got another tripping penalty.  Blaine tried to score again with the extra player advantage but couldn’t.  The game ended with St. Francis winning 5-3, but Blaine came close to turning the game around in the final minutes of the third period.

It was a fun game to watch.  St Francis has talented forwards who can score, Blaine has some nice players that can skate and pass the puck.  But it is a D10 game and D10 games are always fun to watch.

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