Princeton 4, Chisago Lakes 3 (overtime) Princeton’s Collin Buness scored 1:20 into overtime to give the Tigers a 4-3 win over the Wildcat boys’ hockey team Monday, December 3 at Chisago Lakes. Bradee Thompson scored the only goal of the first period, assisted by Brandon Gillespie and Jacob Speight, to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. Princeton tied it up on a power play goal less than a minute into the second period. At the 5:59 mark of the period, Colten Reynolds scored on a Wildcat power play, assisted by Dan Sargeant and Speight, to put the Wildcats back up 2-1. But Princeton responded with another goal just over a minute later to tie the game at 2-2 after two periods. At the 4:28 mark of the third period, the Wildcats took the lead for the third time in the game as Blake Lizotte scored. Gillespie and Zach Lambrecht assisted on Lizotte’s goal. But just five minutes later, Princeton tied it up for the third time in the game, eventually sending it into overtime where the Tigers took their first and only lead of the game for the win. Wildcat head coach Paul Gibson said “...another exciting game. What can I say, the men worked hard. Although we were on the third game of a three game stand, we showed up and battled hard. We held the momentum in the first period, outshooting Princeton 14-4. The play evened out in the second and in the third you could see the effects of having three games in four days. I think we missed some key scoring opportunities throughout the game, but that happens in nearly every game at every level. When two teams are so evenly matched, the team that capitalizes on those chances generally comes out ahead. Never-the-less, I am proud of the men for their effort.” Chisago Lakes 3, Minnehaha Academy 2 This win is still hard to believe, even though it happened nearly a week ago.
The Wildcats, despite outplaying the Minnehaha Academy Redhawks for most of the game, trailed 2-0 late in the third period and it looked like a good effort would be wasted. But they scored twice in the last 3:20 of the game to tie it up. In overtime, Jacob Speight scored the game winner from an impossible angle to give the Wildcats a 3-2 comeback win. After a scoreless first period, the Redhawks scored the only goal of the second period to take a 1-0 lead after two. The Wildcats had outshot the Redhawks 25-16 for the first two periods and had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. In the third period, the Wildcats ramped up the pressure, eventually outscoring the Redhawks 27-8 for the period. But when the Redhawks scored with 4:33 remaining to take a 2-0 lead, it looked like the Wildcats’ efforts would be wasted. But the players didn’t give up. They kept up the pressure and took advantage of three great individual efforts. With 3:20 left in the game, Blake Lizotte skated with the puck from behind the right side of the Redhawk net, and worked his way through traffic just outside the crease. From the left edge of the crease, he fired a shot just inside the right post to cut the Redhawk lead to 2-1. With just under two minutes remaining, Ben Knaak picked up a loose puck at his own blue line and streaked down the right side of the ice.
When he got to the top of the right circle, he ripped a slapshot and kept charging. The shot hit the goalie in the chest and bounced to the right side of the crease. Knaak was right there for the rebound and rammed a one-timer into the net to tie the game at 2-2. With just a few seconds left in the period, the Redhawks unleashed a long, bouncing shot on net from center ice. Wildcat goalie Bryce Thompson corralled the bouncing puck just before the final buzzer went off to send the game into overtime. Speight’s winning goal in overtime was an example of how good things can happen when you throw the puck towards the net. Speight carried the puck from behind the Redhawk net to the goal line near the left corner. He shot the puck hard toward the net, apparently attempting to center it. But the puck slid right down the goal line. It sneaked between the left pipe and the goalie’s leg.
The goalie deflected it just enough for the puck to clank off the inside of the right pipe, hit the net just inside the pipe and bounced back out. The referees immediately called it a goal and, despite protests from the Redhawk bench, the goal stood and the Wildcats had a fun, heart-stopping win. Thompson, making his first start of the season, picked up his first career win while stopping 22 of the 24 shots. Thompson made several nice saves to keep the Wildcats in the game until they started their eleventh hour comeback. The Wildcats (4-2-0 overall) play three games in the next three days. Tonight, they travel to East Bethel Ice Arena to face conference foe St. Francis at 7 p.m. Tomorrow, they welcome St. Paul Academy to Chisago Lakes Arena for a 7 p.m. contest. And they will come back less than 24 hours later, hosting Cambridge-Isanti at 12:30 p.m. at Chisago Lakes Arena Saturday, December 15.