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Equalizing the score

By Walker Orenstein, MN Hockey Hub staff, 10/28/11, 9:01AM CDT


Thomas Lindstrom scores two goals to propel Team Northwest past his Breck teammates

Team Northwest's Thomas Lindstrom (18) of Breck skates the puck up the ice beside Team Southwest's Conor Anderle (8) of Breck. Photo by Helen Nelson

Revenge is always sweet, but it’s even sweeter when it’s at the expense of your friends.

Junior forward Thomas Lindstrom got the last word against Breck teammates and Team Southwest enemies Wesley Iverson and Conor Andrle in Team Northwest’s 8-3 victory in an Upper Midwest Elite High School Hockey League quarterfinal matchup at New Hope Ice Arena in New Hope on Friday, Oct. 28.

“Iverson and Andrle were giving it to us at school,” Lindstrom said. “They got us twice and we got them once (during the regular season)."

Although Team Northwest and Team Southwest came into Friday’s contest with identical 9-9-3 records, Team Southwest had taken the regular season series against Team Northwest’s squad two games to one.

This didn’t sit very well with Lindstrom.

“We knew we had to come out strong,” he said.

Lindstrom took responsibility early in the first period to silence his buddies and energize his team.

Around four minutes into the first period, Lindstrom fired a wrist shot in the slot that Team Southwest goalie Erikur Arnason of Greenway got a piece of, but not enough to stop it. The puck nicked his glove and flipped over him, trickling into the net for the first goal of the game.

Team Northwest's Thomas Lindstrom (18), a junior from Breck, scored two goals and had one assist to aid in the win against Team Soutnwest. Photo by Helen Nelson

Team Northwest's Thomas Lindstrom (18), a junior from Breck, scored two goal and had one assist to aid in the win against Team Soutnwest. Photo by Helen Nelson

“Honestly, I was just trying to get it on net,” Lindstrom said. “I threw it on net off the glove and up over him... We just kept rolling from there and never backed down.”

That was an understatement.

Under two minutes later, Benilde-St. Margaret’s forward Grant Besse of Team Northwest scored again, followed Christian Horn of Benilde-St. Margaret’s less than a minute later.

Lindstrom initiated the scoring in the second period with another goal in the slot, proving that he can carry the scoring load when it matters the most.

Last season Lindstrom scored 24 goals and finished with 53 points for Breck, placing him third on a team that made it to the first round of the state tournament before bowing out to Thief River Falls. The scary part is that he is only a junior and still improving.

“I knew I needed to get strong and work on my lower body strength and speed,” Lindstrom said of his offseason work.

His work ethic has definitely been noticed, and Lindstrom has been recruited by both Michigan Tech and Princeton.

Lindstrom however, remains focused on his upcoming season as a Bronco.

“We’re returning a lot of guys that went to the state tournament last year and that’s always good,” he said.  

Breck will be returning four players, Conor Andrle, Grant Opperman, Wesley Iverson, and Lindstrom who all participated in Friday’s Elite League game and who also led Breck in scoring last season. The Mustangs figure to be a force on offense.

“We just got to work on finishing games and I think we’ll be alright,” he said. “We got a strong D core, and a good goalie returning. It’ll just be fun.”

-- Walker Orenstein, MN Hockey Hub staff

Statistics, Summary

1. Justin Quale, Team Northwest
Quale (pictured below) stopped 39 shots on 42 attempts. In the opening minutes, he robbed Benilde-St. Margaret’s teammate Daniel Labosky of Team Southwest on a breakaway, setting the tone for the night. He held Team Southwest completely in check throughout the game, allowing Northwest to build their lead even while their defense allowed Quale to get bombarded with shots.

2. Grant Opperman, Team Northwest
Opperman dished out three assists and scored a goal late in the game to amass four points. He now has 29 points on the season, good for second on Team Northwest. He assisted on the first goal of the game, and the first goal of the second period, helping Team Northwest dominate.

3. Thomas Lindstrom, Team Northwest
Lindstrom had three points on two goals and an assist. He scored the first goal of both periods with the help of Opperman’s play-making abilities. Both goals were in the slot and on open shots that beat Team Southwest goalie Erikur Arnason (Greenway-Coleraine). He now has 19 points, good for fifth on the squad. 

--Walker Orenstein, MN Hockey Hub staff

Game Recap

Teammates and linemates on both Team Northwest and their high school team at Breck, Thomas Lindstrom and Grant Opperman combined for seven points as Team Northwest beat Team Southeast 8-3 on Friday, Oct. 28, in an Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League quarterfinal matchup at New Hope Ice Arena in New Hope.

Northwest advances to play Team Southeast in the next round of the playoffs.

Justin Quale of Benilde-St. Margaret’s had a monstrous game, amassing 39 saves on 42 shots to keep Team Northwest ahead. He had numerous saves on breakaway opportunities and many other brilliant stops.

Team Southwest scored a goal in the first period, and two in the second. Ben Walker of Edina and Tanner Holmquist of Hopkins each had two points on a goal and an assist. Walker's goal came on a brilliant spinning shorthanded effortl.

Goaltender Erikur Arnason of Greenway had 31 saves on 39 shots. Many of the goals that got past him were clean shots as Team Northwest peppered him with scoring tries.

For Team Northwest, Sam Majka (Wayzata) had a goal and an assist, T.J. Roo (Totino-Grace) had a goal and two assists, Grant Besse (Benilde-St. Margaret's) had a goal and an assist and Christian Horn (Benilde-St. Margaret's) tacked on three points with a goal and two assists. Ian Janco (Bloomington Jefferson), Jake Horton (Benilde-St. Margaret's) and Nick Auman (Spring Lake Park) each added an assist.

Daniel Labosky (Benilde-St. Margaret's) had one assist and Vinni Lettieri (Minnetonka) had one goal for Team Southwest.

-- Walker Orenstein, MN Hockey Hub staff

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