3/11/2022 10:42:00 AM Mahtomedi netminder stymies state bid for Chisago Lakes
Chisago Lakes 3, Simley 2 (2 O.T.) Ryan Schmidt scored at 14:46 of the second overtime to give the Wildcats a 3-2 win over the Simley Spartans in the Section 4A semifinals. The game was played Wednesday, February 2 at Roseville Ice Arena. The win sent the Wildcats to the section championship game against the Mahtomedi Zephyrs.
This was one of the best, if not the best, high school hockey games the Press staff has ever witnessed. It was hard hitting but not cheap. Only four penalties were called the entire game. Two of those were offsetting roughing minors near the end of the second period that sent a message that the referees wouldn’t put up with any scuffling. There were obvious penalties both ways that could have been called throughout the game, but the referees let them play and it added to the excitement. And the teams didn’t make a lot of mistakes in this game. Both goalies made several nice saves to help keep their respective teams in the game. All five of the goals were well-earned. This is a game that would be fun to watch again a few years down the road, even if you didn’t know the context. The fact that it was a playoff game and the Wildcats won makes it even better.
Simley’s Justin Roitman fired a shot from the top of the left circle that got past Wildcat goalie Jack Hanson and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead at 6:45 of the first period. At 10:54, Jack Bakken sent a pass from the right corner to Sage Senne at the right point. Senne ripped a high slapshot toward the net and Cam Stangl appeared to tip it out of the air and into the net to tie the game at 1-1. At 3:55 of the second period, Simley’s Casey Seidl cruised to the front of the net and redirected a pass from the right corner into the back of the net to put the Spartans back on top at 2-1. And at 4:58 of the third period, Ryan Schmidt picked up his own rebound behind the net, skated to the bottom of the left circle and sent a pass across to Jack Bakken at the right post. Bakken slid it into the net just inside the post to tie the game at 2-2. Nik Jinks was also credited with an assist on the goal.
After an eight-minute first overtime didn’t produce any goals, the teams headed to the locker rooms for and intermission to Zamboni the ice. Late in the 17-minute second overtime, Ben Jinks sent a pass from the Wildcat blueline up to Nick Helland at the red line on the left side of the ice. Helland weaved his way into the zone and sent a pass across to Ryan Schmidt in the right circle. Schmidt wristed a low shot that hit goalie Logan Suchy’s stick and popped over his pad and into the back of the net to give the Wildcats a 3-2 overtime win and send them to the section championship game. Shots were even for the game at 34 apiece.
Wildcat head coach Cory Lushanko said “Obviously, this was a very exciting win for us. We lost to Monticello in double overtime in last year’s playoffs and we were hoping that wouldn’t jinx us for this year. As overtime progressed, I fent that they tired a bit, and we took more control. And the game ended in our favor for our first overtime win all season.
“I knew after scouting them that we would be in for a very even game. Simley is very similar to us – good scoring lines, solid defense, and decent goaltending. They had twelve seniors to our six, so I thought that might play to their advantage. Ryan Schmidt and Nick Helland were very fired up for this one. It was a good matchup and a fun game.”
Mahtomedi 4, Chisago Lakes 0 Leading 2-0 five minutes into the second period in the Section 4A championship game, the Mahtomedi Zephyrs scored two goals just 14 seconds apart to stretch their lead to 4-0. They shut down the Wildcats the rest of the game for a 4-0 win, earning a trip to this week’s state tournament, where they are seeded third in the Class A bracket. The loss ended the season for the Wildcats. The game was played Friday, March 4 at Roseville Ice Arena.
David Wolsfeld scored twice on tough-angled shots in the first period, once on the power play, to give the Zephyrs a 2-0 lead after one. At 2:55 of the second period, there was a frenzy in front of the Zephyr net. Wolsfeld fell on the puck to freeze it and the referee standing three feet away from him immediately signaled for a penalty shot. Converting the shot would put the Wildcats within one goal in a game where goals were hard to come by. Nick Helland was on the ice when the penalty shot was called and was tapped to take the shot. He started deep in his own end, picked up the puck from the center dot and headed toward the net. He made a nice move on Zephyr goalie Ben Dardis and shot toward the left side of the net, but Dardis anticipated the shot and got a pad on it to send it harmlessly into the corner and keep the Mahtomedi lead at 2-0. When the Zephyrs scored a power play goal and an even strength goal just over two minutes later, it essentially put the game out of reach.
Goaltending played a big part in this one. The Zephyrs outshot the Wildcats just 34-29, but Zephyr goalie Dardis – a second team All-Metro selection by the Star Tribune this season – stopped all 29 shots he faced.
Wildcat head coach Cory Lushanko said “We ran into a hot goalie in this game and just couldn’t get anything past him. And I think the intense Simley game two nights earlier was wearing on some of our players. The first part of the first period was pretty even, but they are a good skating team and as the game progressed, they got pucks deep and ground us down and we lost control of the game. As a whole, our group was disappointed because we thought we had the talent and aspirations to get to state. The better team won this game. We have nothing to hang our heads about and we showed that we are definitely ready to take our next step as a program.”