|1/23/2020 2:36:00 PM|
Turek leads Vikings to upset of state-ranked Gentry Academy
North Branch 6, Gentry Academy 3
If there was ever any doubt how much senior goalie Jake Turek means to the unranked Viking boys’ hockey team, last Thursday’s 6-3 win at home against the seventh-ranked Gentry Academy Stars erased those doubts. The Stars averaged over a shot per minute in the game, outshooting the Vikings 52-32. But Turek allowed just three goals on those 52 shots while his teammates made the most of their opportunities, enabling the Vikings to come away with a win against one of the top teams in the state.
The Stars’ leading scorer Damon Furuseth helped to get the Vikings off on the right foot by getting a minor penalty for “abuse of officials” – along with a ten-minute misconduct – just 1:49 into the first period. Dawson Johnson scored a power play goal just 23 seconds later, assisted by Tucker Sachs and Cody Croal, to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead. Gentry tied it up just over a minute later. But Croal, the Vikings’ leading scorer, sent one into the back of the net at 7:31 to put the Vikings back in front. And Matt Dekanick scored an unassisted goal at exactly the ten-minute mark to give the Vikings a two-goal cushion at 3-1. After the first period, the Vikings held a 13-11 lead in shots.
The Stars stepped it up and outshot the Vikings 22-12 in the second period. They scored just once, cutting the Viking lead to 3-2 after two. The Vikings got that one back when Sachs scored at 5:42 of the third period, with the single assist going to Jordan Axberg. And exactly seven minutes later, Joey Kerchner scored, assisted by Croal and Zach Larson, to give the Vikings a 5-2 lead. The lead got cut to two when Furuseth scored just 23 seconds later. But it was too little, too late for Gentry. Johnson notched an empty netter with 37 seconds left in the game to make the final score 6-3. Lawton Garin picked up the sole assist on Johnson’s goal. The Vikings scored three goals on seven shots in the third period, while the Stars managed to squeeze just one goal past Turek on 19 shots.
The Vikings’ quality win over Gentry Academy will help to keep the Vikings (13-4-0 overall) in the mix for the top seed in the Section 5A playoffs. Pine City currently sits atop the QRF rankings in Section 5A, followed closely by Monticello and the Vikings.
Goalie Jake Turek is currently tied for second in the state in wins, with 13, and he is eighth in the state in save percentage at 92.7%.
The Vikings, currently in second place in the Mississippi 8 Conference, will take on the two bottom teams in the Mississippi 8 Conference over the next few days. Tomorrow night, the Vikings will host the St. Francis Fighting Saints at 7 p.m. at Chisago Lakes Arena. On Monday, they will travel to the Princeton Ice Arena to face the Becker/Big Lake Eagles at 7 p.m.