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February 28, 2020

12/19/2019 3:15:00 PM
Vikings keeping momentum going

North Branch 5, St. Francis 3
The Vikings got back on track with their special teams against the St. Francis Fighting Saints.  They scored on two of five power play opportunities and killed off all five St. Francis power plays, providing the margin of victory in their 5-3 win over the Saints at East Bethel Ice Arena last Thursday, December 12.

St. Francis scored the first two goals of the game, but the Vikings scored three times in 90 seconds midway through the second period to take a 3-2 lead.  Ben Huth scored an unassisted goal at 9:34 of the second period to cut the Saints’ lead to 2-1.  Dawson Johnson scored to tie it up 53 seconds later, assisted by Ben Huth, to tie the game at 2-2.  And Matt Dekanick gave the Vikings the lead with a power play goal 40 seconds later, with the single assist going to Jordan Axberg.

Cody Croal scored an insurance goal on a power play at 3:18 of the third period to extend the Vikings’ lead to 4-2.  Joey Kerchner and Dawson Johnson picked up the assists.  The Saints scored at 7:30 to pull within one.  Croal added an empty netter with nine seconds left to assure the Vikings a big conference win.    
Northern Lakes 4, North Branch 3
The Vikings fought a tough battle with the Northern Lakes Lightning, and eventually lost 4-3 despite outshooting the Lightning 41-30.  The teams clashed last Saturday, December 14 at the Hallett Community Center.

The Lightning struck first, scoring the only goal of the first period.  The Lightning held the Vikings off the scoreboard until midway through the second period, when Dawson Johnson scored, assisted by Jess Lesmann, to tie the game at 1-1.  Northern Lakes responded with a go-ahead goal three minutes later.  But three minutes after that, Cody Croal scored a power play goal to tie the game back up, at 2-2.  Tucker Sachs and Johnson assisted on Croal’s goal.

The Lightning scored with just under a minute left in the period to take the lead for the third time in the game.  The score stayed that way as the Vikings put the pressure on throughout the third period.  The Lightning broke through with three minutes to go in the game for an insurance goal that put them up 4-2.  The Vikings kept pushing hard.   Jordan Axberg scored for the Vikings with 36 seconds left in the game, assisted by Matt Dekanick, to cut the lead to one.   But the Lightning killed off the last few seconds to come away with the win.
Hockey Hullaballoo
The Vikings (6-2-0) travel to Isanti Ice Arena to take on Mississippi 8 Conference foe Cambridge-Isanti tonight at 7 p.m.  That’s their last game until they head up to Exchange Arena for the Little Falls Holiday Tournament, schedule for December 26-28 in Little Falls.

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