With every team comes the departures due to graduation and one of those losses for Burnsville was its No. 1 goalie Bodhi Engum.
In the season opener, the Blaze took a tough loss to Minnetonka, 7-3.
Chris Mallon was not in net for that game, but he was against Hill-Murray and backstopped a 5-2 win that included 27 shots.
"I'm sure he is feeling pretty happy right now," Blaze forward Cory Chapman said. "He should because he played a great game for us and gave us a chance to win."
Mallon was not as busy as his counterpart, John Dugas for Hill-Murray, but he allowed Burnsville to play aggressive, especially in the third period when the Blaze unloaded 15 shots on goal and resulted in three goals in the final four minutes of play.
"Chris (Mallon) played really well for us," Blaze coach Janne Kivihalme said. "I think we played much better defensively tonight than we did against Minnetonka, which helped, but Chris was a big reason why our defense was able to play so well."
There isn't going to be any goalie controversy in Burnsville and Mallon and Anderson will continue to split time and battle for the No. 1 position.
Mallon may have benefited from better defensive play in front of him than what Burnsville had against the Skippers, but in the end, against a highly skilled Pioneers team, he still has to make the stops.
"They're a team that likes to shoot and they were even shooting for rebounds," Mallon said. "Good teams do that, so you have to be ready for that.
"My defense did a great job keeping the front clear, which allowed me to see shots and cover up rebounds, which gave me confidence in my play."
The only two goals Mallon gave up was Zach LaValle's shot from the slot on the power play as Hill-Murray worked the half-boards about as perfectly as a team could, and Andy Faust's wrist shot, that was perfectly placed in the lower left corner.
Other than that, he was perfect and had to be as it took the Blaze more than 47 minutes to get their first lead of the game.
"I'm thrilled Chris played a good game," Kivihalme said. "We have a nice, friendly battle going for the goalie position, but I'm just happy to see us play better and really happy for Chris."
Despite getting his first varsity win, Mallon was modest and recognized the play in front of him.
"I just have to give them credit," Mallon said. "They gave me a lot of clean looks at shots, so it was my job to stop them because my defense was doing theirs."
As long as Mallon plays like he did against Hill-Murray and Anderson can follow in his next start, Burnsville can continue to pressure its opposition in similar fashion to what was done to the Pioneers.
Expectations are high in Burnsville to at least get to St. Paul.
One question was the play in net.
For one afternoon, Mallon answered with confidence, which spread throughout his teammates as the game progressed and gave Burnsville an important win against a highly skilled Pioneers team.
More features and reaction to come later tonight.
There was an abundance of talent on the ice as the Pioneers and Blaze squared off at the Burnsville Ice Center and all those players can score in a variety of highlight-reel ways.
Blaze forward Cory Chapman was trying to set his teammates up for perhaps one of those jaw-dropping goals, but his pass was deleted by a Hill-Murray defenseman and somehow found the upper corner for what ended up being the game-winning goal.
"I was just trying to pass it out front," Chapman said. "When i got the puck, I just closed my eyes and threw it out front and it somehow got in the upper corner."
Through the first two games, Chapman has three goals already to lead the Blaze in that category, along with points, which he now has four.
"I thought we played a strong third period and it was good to have Chappy (Chapman) come up with a big play for us," Kivihalme said.
Getting the right bounce towards the end of the game wasn't the only reason why Burnsville ultimately won the game.
After two periods and a tie score, Burnsville was the more aggressive team in the final 17 minutes.
It scored three goals in the last four minutes of the game, but it was indicative of how the whole period was played.
"The third period was unacceptable for us," Pioneers coach Bill Lechner said. "Some of our guys being in football is not an excuse anymore. Some of our older guys need to step up.
"I am not going to take anything away from Burnsville though. They were good tonight and deserved it, but we need to get it in gear."
Burnsville's conclusion to the game was about about as good as the start, when it outshot and played more physical than Hill-Murray even though it was down 1-0 after the first period.
It marked the second game that the Blaze came out of the gates strong at the beginning of the game as they had a 2-0 lead at one point against Minnetonka two nights earlier before eventually falling to the Skippers 7-3.
"We just want to come out hard against these teams," Chapman said. "These are good teams we are playing against and you have to come out strong, which we did and we also made sure we finished."
After suffering a tough season opening defeat to Minnetonka, Burnsville bounced back and defeated Hill-Murray 5-2 on Dec. 3 at the Burnsville Ice Center.
Chris Mallon recorded his first career varsity win, turning away 27 shots from the Pioneers.
In the third period, Burnsville turned up the heat, scoring three goals on 15 shots which gave it 38 for the game.
Cory Chapman scored the game-winning goal when he fired a pass from the corner that deflected off a Pioneers defenseman's stick and into the upper corner.
That was the first of three goals the Blaze put away in a three minute, 14 second span to pull away late.
Jake Senta and Tyler Sheehy each recorded a goal and an assist for Burnsville.
They along with Chapman, Bohn and Anderson were the goal scorers for the Blaze.
Zach LaValle got the scoring going when he scored from the slot on the power play to give Hill-Murray a 1-0 lead that carried over into the second period.
In the second. Andy Faust gave the Pioneers a brief 2-1 lead when he beat Mallon on a hard, low wrist shot that found the lower left corner.
Sheehy tied it back up when his shot from the point got by John Dugas.
Faust also assisted on LaValle's power play goal in the first period.
The loss drops Hill-Murray to 0-2-0 and it will go into Classic Suburban Conference play on Thursday, Dec. 8 when it takes on Henry Sibley.
Burnsville improves to 1-1-0 and will stay at home to play Benilde-St. Margaret's on Thursday, Dec. 8.
1. Chris Mallon, Burnsville
Splitting time with Nic Anderson in net and watching his teammate in a 7-3 loss to Minnetonka in the season opener, Mallon played with confidence and composure, stopping 27 of 29 shots for his first varsity win. After Burnsville came out hard, Mallon gave up a power play goal, but was nearly perfect after that. His play allowed his teammates to play an up-temp third period, which took its toll on Hill-Murray late in the game.
2. Cory Chapman, Burnsville
Even when he doesn't even try to score, Chapman found a way to put the puck in the net. He admitted that on his game-winning goal, he tried to pass the puck out front. It ended up deflecting off a Pioneer and into the upper corner for a goal. He proved that nothing but good things happen when you throw the puck at the net.
3. Nick Bohn, Burnsville
He concluded the scoring when he put away a power play goal with 23 seconds left in the game, but he also was a force rushing the puck, putting constant pressure on Hill-Murray's defensemen. Bohn also had a gorgeous pass to Jake Senta in the third, which he scored on to give the Blaze some insurance.