February 13, 2004 at 10:53 a.m.
Chisago Lakes 2
About the only thing that has been more unstable than the stock market this season has been Ken Orwoll’s line-up.
Already missing their top two scorers, things took a turn for the worst just hours before last Tuesday’s face-off, that’s when Orwoll learned he would also be without Matt Nelson who was sick. Throw in a missing Josh Angrimson, and the ‘Cats took to the ice to face the Knights without their top four scorers! To put things into perspective, of all the players in uniform, Jake Miles had the most points with 13.
“We needed some of the other guys to step up and they sure did,” commented Orwoll, Chisago Lakes boys hockey head coach. “It was a fun game. It was good to see some of those younger kids get a chance to shine a little bit.”
Burning the brightest was goalie Jordan Hawkinson and freshman Scott Liebsch. Both played a big role in the game, beginning in the first period.
Less than seven minutes into the first period, Liebsch helped the Wildcat draw first blood, winning the face-off back to Carl Hoffman who blasted a slapshot from the high slot for the first goal of the game. From there, Hawkinson did the rest, turning aside all 13 shots faced in the first. One of three senior goaltenders on the team, Hawkinson last saw action on January 20 versus Big Lake, making his performance that much more impressive.
“Missing those guys up front, we knew it would take us some time to adjust. Hawk kept us in there up until that point, he just played awesome,” said Orwoll. “He’s been working so hard in practice. Every time he gets a chance to play, no matter if it’s on JV or skating out, he gives it 100 percent. He’s really come a long way.”
Leading 1-0 in the second, a breakdown on defense led to the Knights only goal of the game on a breakaway, tying the score 1-1. However, four minutes later, the Wildcats struck back. Leading the rush, freshman Bob LeVasseur scooted the puck to Liebsch on the doorstep. The freshman center quickly stuffed the puck into the net for his second goal of the season. The tally pushed the Wildcats back in front 2-1 at the end of two.
“It was a fun play,” remembered Orwoll. “That third line comes to play, they have all season. There was some concern about finding some other kids to score but he knew if we kept putting pressure on, he would eventually get one in. Overall, we were moving the puck pretty well. Once we got some of our early penalty troubles out of the way, we played pretty well.”
Liebsch’s goal proved to be the game winner as both teams went scoreless in the third. Hawkinson finished his night off with nine saves, giving him 25 on the night out of 26 six shots, helping the ‘Cats score a 2-1 win. It definitely wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win.
“Everyone needed to step up and they did,” commented Orwoll. “It was a little closer than we would have liked but we got the win and that was the most important thing. Again, the younger kids really played well and Hawk was solid.”
The win pushed the Wildcats overall record to 10-7 overall, but more importantly, it moved their conference record above .500 at 4-3 with Rum River leader Princeton on the way.
Chisago Lakes 2
1 2 3 F
STMA -- 1 -- 1
Chisago Lakes 1 1 -- 2
1) CL- Hoffman (Liebsch) 10:20
2) SM- #9 (unassisted) (sh) 7:05; 3) CL- Liebsch (LeVasseur) 11:16.
Chisago Lakes 7
Josh Angrimson sure picked a perfect time to find the back of the net....a lot.
Chris Waltz picked the perfect time to have arguably his best game of the season, maybe even of his career.
Lance Baumgard picked a perfect time to get healthy.
The Wildcats picked a perfect time to put it all together.
Fighting for their conference lives, literally, the Wildcats stayed alive in the Rum River race by disposing of Princeton 7-4 last Friday. The win pulled the ‘Cats within one game of the Tigers for second in the league, and within two games of Mora for the top spot. The Wildcats and Mustangs face-off February 19.
Back in the line-up, Matt Nelson got the Wildcats going with a rebound goal less than four minutes into the game. Nelson’s tally was his fifth of the season. However, as in their earlier meeting with the Tigers, after falling behind 1-0, Princeton answered back to tie the game 1-1 midway through the first. That proved to be about the only thing similar to their first match-up. This time, Chisago was up to the task.
With time winding down in the first period, Angrimson, Waltz, and Baumgard combined to give the ‘Cats a late boost heading into the locker room. While on one side of the ice, Waltz was standing on his head, making one of his 16 first period saves, on the other end, Angrimson was giving the Wildcats a 2-1 lead. The two on one rush was started by Baumgard who slid the puck to Angrimson in the right slot. Angrimson’s one-timer was picture-perfect, giving the junior his sixth goal of the season, and giving Chisago a 2-1 lead after one.
“Game in and game out, Josh is one of those guys who can carry you,” said Orwoll. “He’s such a good skater, he can do so many things, that sooner or later you know he’s going to find the back of the net.”
After Princeton tied the game seven minutes into the second, Angrimson again found the back of the net, again assisted by Baumgard. Five minutes after Angrimson’s second goal of the night, the junior brought the fans to their feet by notching a power play goal, completing the hat trick. Meanwhile, Waltz preserved the 4-2 lead with 14 more saves in the second, giving the ‘Cats a two goal cushion with 17 minutes left in the game.
“He (Waltz) always plays a great first period, it’s just been a matter of how he’s going to do in the second and third,” remarked Orwoll. “He played great. It’s just such a big boost for the team to get a performance like that. It makes them realize that if they make a mistake, he’ll be there to back them up.”
Speaking of mistakes, the Wildcats made one early in the third, leading to a Princeton power play, bringing the Tigers within one, 4-3. However, two minutes later, a Tiger penalty gave the momentum right back to the ‘Cats. Streaking in a breakaway, Baumgard was hauled down from behind, giving him a penalty shot.
“Lance has always been a competitor. Once we got the call, the ref asked if he wanted the penalty shot or the power play,” remembered Orwoll. “Based on how our power play had been playing, we went with it. He (Lance) came off-centered which was the key, and slid it past the goalie. Once we got that goal, the kids were just flying high. The adrenaline was really pumping.”
It had to be because Princeton answered immediately, once again pulling within one on the power play, making it 5-4 with less than three minutes to play. Looking for the game tying goal, the Tigers called a time-out, hoping to diagram the perfect play.
They never got to attempt it. Just 14 seconds after the time-out was called, Baumgard back-handed the puck out of the zone. As the puck bounced into the Tiger zone, Angrimson turned on the jets, out-racing the Tiger defenseman to the puck, springing himself free on a shorthanded breakaway. After a quick move to his right, then his left, Angrimson shoved the puck past the Princeton goalie for his fourth goal of the game and ninth of the season.
“He was flying, the adrenaline was really pumping out there, it was a great game,” said Orwoll. “In other games this season, we’ve let down in the third, but there was no sign of that, you couldn’t even tell the kids were tired. They skated just as good late in the game as they did when it first started.”
Still on the power play and down 6-4, Princeton pulled their goalie late for the extra attacker. With one second left, Baumgard took the puck in his own zone and canned the empty net, completing the 7-4 win. The goal was Baumgard’s sixth point of the game. Angrimson finished with four points. In goal, Waltz paced the ‘Cats with 41 saves on 45 shots.
“It was great to see how all of the kids worked together. They worked on both ends of the ice, that was the most important thing for me, not so much that some of the kids stood out,” remarked Orwoll. “We did the little things. I think that frustrated them a little bit because we were doing all of the little things right. Some of their main guys spent time in the box because they let their frustration get the best of them.
“The game had everything, it was really fun to be apart of,” continued Orwoll. “It was a penalty shot, shorthanded goals, power play goals and a hat trick. It was just a great win.”
And that’s really the main thing, a win. Now two games back of Mora, the Wildcats have two conference games left while the Mustangs have three. The two teams face-off on February 19 to close out the regular season. The game will be played at the Chisago Lakes Arena.
“Realistically, we’re probably playing for second place, but we’re technically still alive,” replied Orwoll. “If we get some help, we’ve got a shot.”
Chisago Lakes 7
1 2 3 F
Princeton 1 1 2 4
Chisago Lakes 2 2 3 7
1) CL- Nelson (LaMotte) 3:23; 2) P- #11 (unassisted) 6:27; 3) CL- J. Angrimson (Baumgard, Emery) 14:32.
4) P- #10 (#21) 7:39; 5) CL- J. Angrimson (Baumgard) 12:02; 6) J. Angrimson (Baumgard) (pp) 15:28.
7) P- #21 (#3, #19) (pp) 5:17; 8) CL- Baumgard (penalty shot) 9:42; 9) P- #19 (unassisted) (pp) 15:44; 10) CL- J. Angrimson (Baumgard) (sh) 15:58; 11) CL- Baumgard (unassisted) (sh) (en) 16:59.