Park boys hockey: Wolfpack sweeps Woodbury, earns playoff fifth seedThe Park boys hockey team managed to earn a season sweep of District 833 and Suburban East Conference rival Woodbury last week, but must pull itself out of a scoring slump in order to do well in the upcoming Section 3AA tournament.
By: Teresa Townsend, South Washington County Bulletin
The Park boys hockey team managed to earn a season sweep of District 833 and Suburban East Conference rival Woodbury last week, but must pull itself out of a scoring slump in order to do well in the upcoming Section 3AA tournament.
Off its win over the Royals, Park (12-9-4; 6-9-3) earned the fifth seed in the section playoffs and will face off at fourth-seeded Eastview (10-13-2) on Thursday, Feb. 23, in the first round. Defending section champ and third-ranked Eagan (21-3-1) is the No. 1 seed.
Against Woodbury on Thursday, Feb. 16, at Bielenberg Sports Complex, although Park’s two goals were enough to defeat the Royals, head coach Jay Moser said he believes his team has yet to rediscover the extent of their offensive strengths.
“We only scored two goals, but it was a heck of a win, we’re still in search of our scoring-chemistry . . . the guys just have to be focused and relaxed . . . [and] go out there and play.”
Park scrambled to find its team identity during the first period against Woodbury.
“We came out kind of slow, didn’t really play with the zip that we need to play with, but they turned it around,” Moser said. “Eric Majerle made some good saves, allowed us to get through that early slow phase we were in.”
The Royals played nearly 10 minutes shorthanded, but the Wolfpack was unable to take advantage of most of their powerplay opportunities.
“Powerplays throw off your rhythm a little bit, we weren’t passing well,” Moser said.
However, Park pulled it together toward the end of the period. Luke Nelson scored (assists Chris Raisanen and Alex Kielsa) with less than a minute left in a Wolfpack powerplay to take a 1-0 lead.
“[We] made a nice play and made a goal and that helped us,” Moser said.
However, after a scoreless second period, Woodbury’s Chase Myers-Beck tied the score 1-1 (assist Jack Glaeser), but Park was able to avoid the tie as Nelson scored his second goal of the night (assist Cody Newton) for a 2-1 overtime win – the Wolfpack’s second of the year over Woodbury. Back on Jan. 14, Park beat the Royals 4-3 as well.
Next, Park will play Eastview in the first round of sections; their previous match-up, on Feb. 6, ended in a 1-1 tie.
“They have one really good player that we have to contain, if we can shut him down and stay out of the box I think we’ll be okay,” Moser said.