Park boys hockey: Wolfpack loses lead, slips to Apple ValleyA month into the season the Park boys hockey team is still looking for win No. 1.
By: Nick Gerhardt, South Washington County Bulletin
A month into the season the Park boys hockey team is still looking for win No. 1.
A two-goal third period allowed Apple Valley to escape with a 3-2 victory last Thursday against Park at Cottage Grove Ice Arena.
The Wolfpack (0-6-1, 0-4-1 SEC) held a 2-1 lead entering the third period but a power-play goal from the Eagles’ Mason Preston and an even-strength goal from Tyler Heuer at the 7 minute, 50 second mark secured the victory for Apple Valley.
Park had five penalties in the game and it disrupted the flow in the second period. Four of the five penalties the Wolfpack had in the game came in the second period, including a 5-minute major penalty for boarding.
“We just get into penalty trouble and it ruins the flow of the game,” Park head coach Jay Moser said. “We’re not deep enough to play shorthanded for four to eight minutes a period. We have too few guys that get too much ice time so now the pace falls off and it just throws off our whole flow. Just about every game we’ve had periods where we got into trouble with penalties.”
The Wolfpack didn’t allow a goal during the second period but spending that much time on the penalty kill had an effect in the third period. Park got caught flat-footed in its zone twice in the third period and the Eagles too advantage to take control of the game.
“D zone, we’re still struggling with the D zone,” Moser said. “We’re not covering guys. We’re turning the puck over and we’re not going to win too many games with that recipe.”
The string of 5-minute major penalties the Wolfpack has incurred through the early part of the season hasn’t helped matter, either.
“That’s five minutes of hockey that we’re not really able to mount any offense and chances the momentum,” Moser said. “It gives the other team a lot of offensive chances and it gives them some confidence.”
The third period erased an otherwise strong start for Park in the first period. Nick Moser got the scoring started for the Wolfpack with a goal just 1:36 into the game. Park extended the lead to 2-0 when Chris Peterson struck on the power play at 3:46.
Apple Valley (3-6, 1-3 SSC) responded at 9:17 when Christian Smith scored on an assist from Heuer and Jacob Smith.
Park outshot Apple Valley 30-26 and finished 1-for-5 on the power play. The Wolfpack finished with 18 shots in the first period and held the Eagles to just eight, but got outshot in the final two periods.
Peterson finished with a goal and an assist while Moser had a goal and an assist for Park. Eric Stoffel and Alex Kielsa added assists.
Park goaltender Matthew Palmquist finished with 23 saves on 26 shots, including nine in the second period.
“He kept us in that second period,” Moser said of Palmquist. “He made some good saves. We were short a lot and he kept us in the game.”
Park plays Rochester Century Thursday at the Rochester Kiwanis Tournament at 2 p.m. The Panthers are 1-7 this season.