February 3, 2011 at 9:22 a.m.
It looked like the Vikings were on their way to their fifth win of the season last Tuesday, January 25 at the Schwan's Super Rink in Blaine, leading 2-1 late in the third period. But conference foe Legacy Christian tied it near the end of regulation and won it 3-2 in overtime. It was the sixth one-goal loss of the season for the Vikings.
The Vikings started the scoring in the first period with a goal from senior captain Michael SantaBrigida to put the Vikings on the board and a 1-0 at the break. Junior forward Chase Johnson added a very pretty goal to put the Vikings now up 2-0 going in to the third period where the wheels fell off the Vikings team machine.
The second intermission featured Parent Night ceremonies for the Lions, along with a slow Zamboni. The Vikings looked sluggish after the half hour break and handed the momentum to the Lions. It showed on the score board when Legacy popped one in just under two minutes into the third period. With just 24 seconds left in regulation, the Lions buried one in the back of the Vikings net to tie it at 2-2. The game went to overtime with the Vikings on the power play. But an errant Viking pass put the puck on a Legacy forward's stick, and his shorthanded goal sent the Vikings home with another late game loss.
Burnett (WI) 5, North Branch 3
The Vikings built a 3-1 lead over the leaders of Two Rivers Conference, the Burnett Blizzard (18-2), last Saturday, January 29 at Chisago Lakes Arena. It looked like they had a chance to avenge a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to the Blizzard just three weeks ago. But the Blizzard scored four unanswered goals to beat the Vikings 5-3.
Burnett found itself on a 5-3 power play just one minute into the game and scored to take a 1-0 lead. But just 30 seconds later, with the Vikings still skating a man short, Vikings senior forward Tanner Danks ripped a snap shot into the back of the Blizzard net to tie the game at 1-1. Junior captain Calvin Miska fired shot into the lower left corner of the net to put the Vikings up 2-1 at the end of one.
The second period found the Vikings playing some of the best hockey of the season. Tommy Toohey found the net on a Vikings power play to put the Vikings up 3-1. But Burnett came back just a minute later on a soft goal to cut the Viking lead to 3-2 after two periods. "The third period," said Viking head coach Randy Gendreau, "was another example of us shooting ourselves in the foot. We took several stupid penalties and handed the Blizzard three unanswered goals and a 5-3 Blizzard victory. We needed three 17 minute periods of limited mistakes. Most teams will not play flawless hockey, but this group from Burnett is programmed to win and not let bad plays eat at them. They just beat you on the scoreboard."
The Vikings (4-13) host games at Chisago Lakes Arena at 7 p.m. the next two nights. Tonight, they take on Pine City and tomorrow night they play Robbinsdale Cooper. Next Tuesday, February 8 they travel to Parade Ice Garden in Minneapolis to skate against the Minneapolis Coops.
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