Park boys hockey: Wolfpack falls to Stillwater in overtimeA close overtime loss against Stillwater and a tough loss to Forest Lake (8-8-1) demonstrated the power of and need for leadership for the Park boys hockey team, which is currently seventh in the Suburban East Conference.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
A close overtime loss against Stillwater and a tough loss to Forest Lake (8-8-1) demonstrated the power of and need for leadership for the Park boys hockey team, which is currently seventh in the Suburban East Conference.
Against Stillwater (9-5-2), although Park fell behind 2-0 after the first period, they maintained a competitive mentality throughout their Thursday, Jan. 19 game. A powerplay goal won the game 3-2 for the Ponies in overtime, but Park head coach Jay Moser was happy with the effort his team displayed. “We played three solid periods with good, consistent effort. We played with intensity, and we had it for three periods that game,” Moser said. “It was another great game, both teams were evenly matched, just like our first game against them [which ended in a tie]. It was real tight and went into overtime.”
For Park (7-6) Joey Pierre scored first (assists Chris Peterson and Chris Raisanen), tightening the score to 2-1. The teams remained evenly matched, both making 13 shots on goal for the second period. Jacob Garr’s powerplay goal (assist Luke Nelson) tied the game at 2-2 early in the third period. Although the Pack was outshot 15-9 in the third period, they prevented the Ponies from scoring again in regulation time.
But, Park was unable to hold Stillwater off the board in overtime.
Moser said he sees places for the team to improve.
“We need to make the most of everything. We didn’t score on some really good chances we had. We still gave them a couple of easy goals. We have to tighten it up defensively to make teams earn their goals,” he said.
Unfortunately, Park was unable to sustain their competitive mentality for their Saturday, Jan. 21 game against Forest Lake. Despite a strong start and a close first and second period, the Pack accepted a 4-1 defeat before the game had ended.
After a scoreless first period, the third line (Nick Moser, Russ Damsgard, and Eric Stoffel) put Park on the scoreboard, but Forest Lake quickly responded to Moser’s goal (assist Stoffel) with two of their own, and finished the period 2-1.
“(The third line) had our only goal,” Moser said. “Eric had a great pass . . . it was good to see the third line get involved offensively, because as a whole we did not play well.”
Forest Lake maintained their aggression through the third period and scored twice more for a final score of 4-1.
“I thought we played well the first two periods,” Moser said. “It was a little sloppier than what I would have liked. We were in the game, I think we were down 2-1 going into the third period [and] we gave them the game. We didn’t compete; we accepted losing, that was a very disappointing period for us.” Park will have a chance to prove its leadership in its next game – on Thursday, Jan. 26, when the team plays top conference opponent White Bear Lake (9-8) at home at 7:30 p.m.