Park boys hockey: Wolfpack earn 2-2 draw with StillwaterPark battled to a 2-2 tie against Stillwater in the teams’ Suburban East Conference opener on Saturday, Dec. 3.
By: Teresa Townsend, South Washington County Bulletin
It wasn’t a ‘W’ but it’ll do.
Park battled to a 2-2 tie against Stillwater in the teams’ Suburban East Conference opener on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Down 2-1, a third-period power play opportunity gave Park a two-man advantage and the Wolfpack’s Cody Newton made the Ponies pay.
Newton delivered a game-tying goal with 3:54 remaining in the third period and the two conference foes skated to a draw after a scoreless overtime.
Park (1-0-1; 0-0-1 SEC) began the game ready to compete and finished the first period up 1-0 with 13 shots on goal compared to Stillwater’s nine.
“Our fore-check was aggressive. Our guys played hard and didn’t give up,” Park head coach Jay Moser said.
Stillwater (0-0-1; 0-0-1 SEC) intensified the game with solid play during period two, however. The Ponies prevented Park from making anything of a 5-on-3 opportunity early in the second period. After Park received a tripping penalty, Stillwater scored their first goal to tie the game 1-1 3:38 into the second. Despite vivid energy, Park was unable to overcome the Ponies’ clean plays.
“I think we could improve on our fundamentals,” Moser said. “Passing, we’re still a little sloppy. Our communication on the ice needs to improve.”
Stillwater found the back of the net again during a power play and finished the second period 2-1.
Frantic play defined the third period as Stillwater tried to maintain their lead and Park sought to take it away. Park got a break after two Stillwater penalties gave the Pack another 5-on-3 advantage, and this time Park was able to score the tying goal.
“They responded to adversity,” Moser said. “There was a time in the second period when Stillwater really took it to us. And we got it back in the third period.”
The following eight minutes of overtime revealed exhausted players on both teams. A number of glove saves from Park’s Eric Majerle kept the game at two goals apiece. Both teams had seven shots on goal during overtime, but neither was able to alter the 2-2 final score. Park had 46 shots on goal in the game.
For Park, Newton and Garrett Mahigan each had goals, senior captain Chris Raisanen tallied two assists and Majerle had 47 saves between the pipes for the Wolfpack.
Although a conference win would have been nice, Moser is happy about his team’s performance.
“I’m pleased overall,” he said. “It was a good competitive game . . . The guys played hard and competed. That’s all we ask for . . . [There were] probably six or seven guys that played really well.”
Next, Park is at SEC foe Forest Lake on Thursday, Dec. 8.