Park boys hockey: Wolfpack wallops Mounds View, RosemountAfter playing a week with an improved mental game, Park earned victories over Rosemount and Mounds View and lost a competitive game to Roseville.
By: Teresa Townsend, South Washington County Bulletin
After playing a week with an improved mental game, Park earned victories over Rosemount and Mounds View and lost a competitive game to Roseville.
The Wolfpack’s performance highlighted their ability to win as a team, but also reminded them of the dangers of playing individualistic hockey.
In Park’s first game last week, the Wolfpack let section opponent Rosemount (4-17) take an early lead in their Tuesday, Jan. 31 non-conference game at Rosemount that was only reversed once the team returned to their foundations.
“That was another game where I don’t think we played all that well. Once again we kind of started off slower, trying to feel them out a bit, instead of just skating hard and doing what we can do,” said Park head coach Jay Moser. “In the second and third period we went back to what we do best, and that’s keeping it simple.”
Spencer Diedrich’s powerplay goal (assists Jacob Garr and Joey Pierre) in the first minute of the second period helped build Park’s momentum. Then, Nick Moser scored the go-ahead goal (assists Russ Damsgard and Eric Stoffel) midway through the second period. Nelson scored (assists Chris Peterson and Alex Kielsa) in the third period, making the final score 3-1 for Park.
Although Park competed throughout their Suburban East Conference game at Roseville on Thursday, Feb. 2, the team was unable to hold itself together and fell 6-3. Nelson scored first for the Wolfpack (Jacob Garr), but Roseville soon tied the game. Another two goals from Roseville put Park (11-8-1; 5-8-2 SEC) behind 3-1 in the second period, but then Garr tightened up the score with a goal less than a minute later (assists Nelson and Garrett Mahigan). Roseville (12-7-2; 9-5-1 SEC) scored again in the second period, but Chris Raisanen’s power-play goal (assist Pierre) early in the third kept Park in the game until Roseville scored their final two goals.
“There were moments in the game where Roseville definitely had the advantage and pinned us in our zone for a while,” Moser said. “We kept them to the outside and really didn’t give them good scoring opportunities until the third period.
“We made mental mistakes and errors in judgment . . . They scored on their chances and we didn’t, and we kind of fell apart in the third period. They got a couple and we weren’t able to counter . . . There was a nice shot and a rebound. We missed on an open net. They, literally, five seconds later were down on our end and scored.”
The ‘Pack ended its week on a positive note after winning at Mounds View on Saturday, Feb. 4. More cohesive play allowed them to overcome an aggressive start from the Mustangs (10-9-1; 6-7-1 SEC).
“Mounds View out of the gate was just flying, it just happens. [But] it’s hard to sustain that; we weathered the storm well. Eric Majerle made some good saves. We came through it without giving up a goal . . . and the guys kind of picked it up after that,” Moser said.
After Majerle’s 13 saves kept Park in the game through the first period, Garr scored (assists Nelson and Mahigan) to put Park in the lead. Although Mounds View tied the game early in the third period, another goal from Garr (assist Pat McCarthy) won the game for the ‘Pack 2-1.
“I think Saturday we did play as a team better,” Moser said. “We had really solid goal tending, we responded to adversity well Saturday [which is] something we’ve had difficulty with this season.”
Park will play at home against Cretin-Derham Hall (10-10) on Thursday, Feb. 9, and against rival East Ridge (6-14) in the battle of Cottage Grove Ice Arena on Saturday, Feb. 11. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.