12/6/2019 12:01:00 PM NB offense on fire, scoring eight
North Branch 8, Minnesota River 0 In the Vikings’ second game of the season, Cody Croal picked up his second hat trick of the season to lead the Vikings to an 8-0 shutout over the Minnesota River Bulldogs. The game was played Friday, November 29 in the opening round of the Turkey Trot Tournament, held at the Veteran’s Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights.
Dawson Johnson got the Vikings on the board with a power play goal five minutes into the first period, assisted by Jordan Axberg and Croal, to give the Vikings a 1-0. The Vikings exploded for five goals in the second period to put the game out of reach and tacked on two more in the third. Goaltending made a big difference in this one. Viking goalie Jake Turek stopped all 24 shots he faced to earn the shutout, while the Minnesota River netminder allowed eight goals on just 27 North Branch shots.
Croal had two assists to go along with his three goals. Tucker Sachs scored twice and added an assist, while Kerchner had a goal and two assists. Dawson Johnson had a goal and an assist, and Matt Dekanick added a goal. Axberg had two assists and Ben Huth chipped in with one assist. North Branch 4, Simley 3 Dawson Johnson scored at the 12:21 mark of the third period to break a 3-3 tie and give the Vikings a thrilling 4-3 win over the Simley Spartans in the championship game of the Turkey Trot Tournament. Joey Kerchner assisted on the winning goal. The game was played Saturday, November 30.
Matt Dekanick got the Vikings on the board with a goal at 9:42 of the first period, assisted by Kerchner. The Spartans tied it up three minutes later to make it 1-1. Jesse Lesmann scored his first varsity goal midway through the second period, assisted by Kerchner, to give the Vikings a 2-1 lead. Simley scored twice in the first six minutes of the third period, including a power play goal, to go up 3-2. Dekanick began the Viking rally with an unassisted goal at 9:34 of the period to tie the game at 3-3 and set the stage for Johnson’s late game heroics.
Hockey Hullaballoo Some Viking players with less familiar names have done a lot of the scoring early in the season. Playmaker Joey Kerchner already has nine points in the team’s first three games, on two goals and seven assists, and is seventh in the state in assists. Matt Dekanick and Dawson Johnson have at least one goal apiece in each of the first three games. And one of the more familiar Viking players, Cody Croal, has six goals and five assists, putting him in the top ten in the state in both goals and points in the young season.
The Vikings will host Mississippi 8 Conference opponent Princeton tonight at 7 p.m. at Chisago Lakes Arena. This Saturday, the Vikings will welcome the North Shore Storm to town for a non-conference matchup at 7 p.m. at Chisago Lakes Arena.