January 22, 2004 at 3:38 p.m.
Chisago Lakes 4
Aside from the first four minutes, the game didn’t exactly go as planned for Ken Orwoll and the Chisago Lakes boys hockey team. When looking for a reason, all you have to do is refer back to a comment Orwoll made the week before when talking about the Wildcats upcoming road matchup with Princeton. Orwoll, whose Wildcats played the Tigers last Tuesday, said that his team had never lost to Princeton on the road since he’s been head coach. Early Wednesday morning, after Princeton’s 8-4 win over Chisago, Orwoll had a different take on things. “I think I jinxed it.”
If it was only that easy.
The Wildcats came out of the gates flying, taking an early 1-0 lead on freshman Bob LeVasseur’s first tally of the game. However, from that point on, it was all Princeton. The Tigers answered back with three straight goals to close the period, all even strength goals, grabbing a 3-1 lead after one. After 17 minutes of hockey, Princeton had sent 18 shots on net compared to the Wildcats nine.
“The first four minutes, we controlled the game, it was really fun,” remarked Orwoll. “There was a big letdown after their second goal, or even their third. The kids started panicking a little bit and that resulted in some poor coverage in our defensive zone.”
The Tigers rolled their momentum into the second, skating to two more goals, blistering Wildcat goalie Chris Waltz with 13 more shots. Down 5-1 after two, almost everything seemed to be out of sync.
“The loss of Pieper (Steve) really hurt us,” commented Orwoll, referring to his senior co-captain who is sidelined with a separated shoulder. “We didn’t have enough time to prepare in practice, we didn’t have a whole lot of time to work on things and fill that spot on our first line. It definitely affects your first line because that’s the line that has to control the other team’s big dogs. We never really got anything going from them.”
The only line who did produce for the ‘Cats was their third line of LeVasseur, Jim Bergren, and Zack Stimson. Bergren scored less than four minutes into the second period to pull the Wildcats within three, 5-2, before the Tigers rattled off three more, beating Ryan Rose who had replaced Waltz in nets to start the third. Trailing 8-2, Chisago’s third line finished the scoring, striking twice, both coming from LeVasseur. Paired with his goal in the first, the two late goals gave the freshman his first career hat trick, accounting for one of the few bright spots in an 8-4 loss.
‘The third line really stepped it up for us. LeVasseur got a hat trick, Bergren played outstanding, and Stimson also played great,” remarked Orwoll. “They really played outstanding and stepped up when someone needed to. It was a great thing to see.”
Despite the late game heroics, the Wildcats fell to 2-1 in conference, 7-5 overall.
Chisago Lakes 4
1 2 3 F
Chisago Lakes 1 -- 3 4
Princeton 3 2 3 8
1) CL- LeVasseur (J. Angrimson, L. Angrimson) 15:52; 2) P- #38 (#11) 10:38; 3) P- #3 (#25, #10) 9:12; 4) P- #40 (unassisted) 7:16.
5) P- #19 (#14) 9:25; 6) P- #21 (#10) 2:37.
7) Bergren (LeVasseur, Liebsch) 13:50; 8) P- #11 (#20, #21) 10:26; 9) #17 (#19, #27) 8:45; 10) #14 (#40) 6:52; 11) CL- LeVasseur (Stimson, Bergren) 4:00; 12) CL- LeVasseur (Baumgard, Bergren) :04.
Chisago Lakes 5
St. Paul Academy 2
Last Saturday, the Wildcats took a break from conference play, inviting St. Paul Academy to town for a non-conference game. The contest was a hard-hitting affair filled with emotion, and fortunately for Chisago Lakes, also filled with penalties.
Sparked by three power play goals, the ‘Cats skated past the Spartans 5-2, picking up their eighth win of the season.
The scoring started immediately. Seventeen seconds into the game, Mark Emery picked up the puck in the high slot and whistled a blast into the net, putting the ‘Cats in front 1-0. Then the penalties took over, mainly coming from Chisago (5 penalties in the first period), putting St. Paul Academy on power play after power play, still the Wildcats stood their ground, weathering the storm.
Late in the first, a Cougar penalty reversed things, giving the Wildcats a rare power play, and unlike their opponents, Chisago took advantage of their opportunity.
The Wildcats cycled the puck with the extra skater, finally drawing blood when Zack Lamotte stuffed in a rebound on the weak side of the net, catapulting the ‘Cats in front 2-0. Bob LeVasseur and Jordan Anderson picked up the assists.
“Before that point, we weren’t working together real well,” said Orwoll. “We picked up five penalties in the first and that makes it tough to keep the flow going in the game. That second goal gave us some that back.”
Leading 2-0 early in the second, the Wildcats again struck early in the period, this time at the 34 second mark, when Matt Nelson scored his first goal of the game. The tally came on the power play, the ‘Cats second power play goal of the game. Despite a late power play goal by the Cougars, Chisago Lakes skated into the third with a 3-1 lead.
After scoring 17 seconds into the first and 34 seconds into the second, Nelson’s second goal of the game 56 seconds into the third proved to be the dagger. The goal not only pushed the Wildcats lead to 4-1, but it also started a chain of events that would seal the Cougars coffin.
Desperate to make something happen, St. Paul Academy spent almost the entire third period in the penalty box, committing five penalties resulting in four more Chisago power plays. On one of power plays, Craig Manthey scored his first goal of the game on a wrap-around, putting the ‘Cats in front 5-1. The Cougars added a late goal of their own, also on the power play, but by that time the game had already been decided. Final, Chisago Lakes five, St. Paul Academy two.
“Overall, the kids put some things together,” said Orwoll. “It was a very rough game, very physical and very chippy. I was just glad that no one got hurt and we were able to skate out of their with a win.”
Nelson finished the game with two goals and an assist while Manthey added a goal and two assists. In goal, Jordan Hawkinson picked up the win with 25 saves on 27 shots.
The win moved the Wildcats overall record to 8-5. Up next, it’s back to conference play with Becker-Big Lake and Mora on the schedule this week.
Chisago Lakes 5
St. Paul Acad. 2
1 2 3 F
SPA -- 1 1 2
Princeton 2 1 2 5
1) CL- Emery (Nelson) :17; 2) Lamotte (LeVasseur, Anderson) (pp) 16:03.
3) Nelson (Baumgard, Manthey) (pp) :34; 4) SPA #3 (#2, #8) (pp)
5) CL- Nelson (Manthey, Baumgard) :56; 6) CL- Manthey (unassisted) (pp); 7) SPA- #18 (unassisted) (pp) 13:07.