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Elks outlast Grand Rapids

12/17/2011, 3:00pm CST
By MN Hockey Hub

Elk River knocks off Thunderhawks in overtime on sophomore defensman's goal


Elk River's Jared McLaughlin (7) scored one goal and had one assist during the game against Grand Rapids. Photo by Helen Nelson

Elk River senior Jered McLaughlin may not be biggest player in the Elks’ locker room, but that doesn’t seem to stop him from having a huge impact on the ice.

Scoring a highlight reel goal in the third period and registering an assist on Colton Budreau’s game-winning goal, McLaughlin played a large role in Elk River’s 3-2 overtime victory over Grand Rapids on Saturday, Dec. 17.

“McLaughlin is 5-foot-nothing,” Elk River coach Tony Sarsland said. “If you watch, he comes up with the puck 90 percent of the time and he's quick. He's great around the net and tenacious like a little freaking pitbull.”

That passion and work ethic has made McLauglin a co-captain of the Elks and his teammates continue to benefit from it.


Jared McLaughlin (7) of Elk river and Nick Koerbitz (5) of Grand Rapids battle for the puck. Photo by Helen Nelson

“He battles every game,” Elk River goaltender Anders Franke said. “That's what he's been since he was a sophomore, he just battles. I'm glad to see him do that because a lot of kids on our team see it and rally around it. It's good to see that.

“He has a huge heart.”

While McLaughlin’s play may have sparked Elk River’s only win during the 30th annual Edina Holiday Classic, there was another strong motivating factor for the Elks.

“We knew going into it that we had to beat (Grand Rapids) to get a higher seed in sections,” McLaughlin said. “It was a huge step forward in our season.”

The game’s importance for Section 7AA seeding was clearly on the mind of the Elk River coaching staff as well.

“For us, it is a huge game and this is the only game that we wanted to win -- it's a sectional game,” Sarsland said. “Now if we beat Andover in our conference, we're the number two seed automatically and that's huge. We don't play (Grand Rapids) again during the year and we won. So from our standpoint, we're feeling pretty good.”

Regardless of whatever motivated the victory, Elk River is hoping to build momentum off its good showing in the 30th annual Edina Holiday Classic.

“The last five years we haven't been doing very good in the tournament,” McLaughlin said. “So to come out 1-1-1 is a huge step and it's a momentum boost for us.”

A view clearly shared by the rest of the Elks.

“It's a huge confidence booster,” Franke said. “Especially for the young kids -- huge confidence booster. We have a game on Thursday (Dec. 22) against Osseo and we're just going to keep rolling from this win and from here on out.”

-- Michael Murakami, MN Hockey Hub staff


Elk River's goalie Anders Franke (31) blocks a shot from Curtis Simonson (17) of Grand Rapids. Photo by Helen Nelson

Elk River's Anders Franke does it again

After a relatively quiet two periods, Elk River goaltender Anders Franke was peppered in the third period with 20 shots.

Making 37 quality saves, Franke anchored his team’s overtime victory -- an all too familiar sight for his teammates.

“He keeps us in a lot of games,” Elk River forward Jered McLaughlin said. “He came up big with those big three-on-ones and two-on-ones late in the game. It just kept us in it, kept momentum and we knew we had to back him up and get goals.”

It may also be a familiar sight for Franke himself, being a four-year starter in between the pipes for Elk River.

“I took a lot of heat about playing him as a ninth grader -- we had a senior and (Franke) was just better,” Elk River coach Tony Sarsland said. “He just works, works, works, works almost to a point sometimes where he works to hard and he gets stale.”

With the 2011-2012 season being Franke’s last with the Elks, the senior continues to build up the legacy he will leave at Elk River after graduation.

“We've probably had three great goaltenders in my time period at Elk River -- which is longer than anybody,” Sarsland said. “A kid by the name of Sam Warhol was fabulous, Erik Day who started for the (University of Minnesota) as a freshman and this kid (Franke). Those are the three and Franke is right up there.

“By the time his career is done, he's going to have started more games for Elk River than any goaltender in Elk River history.”

Pair excellent on-ice play with strong off-ice leadership and it’s clear to see why Elk River coaches and players alike are quick to praise their senior goaltender and co-captain.

“Hardest worker and a great kid,” Sarsland said. “There's no downside to Anders, I can tell you that.”

-- Michael Murakami, MN Hockey Hub staff

Statistics, Summary

Game Recap

Sophomore defenseman Colton Budreau scored with 2 minutes, 28 seconds left in overtime to lift Elk River over No. 6-ranked Grand Rapids 3-2 on Saturday, Dec. 17, in the final round of the Edina Holiday Classic at Braemar Arena in Edina.

Budreau took a centering feed from Jerad McLaughlin from behind the goal and rocketed a wrist shot high over Thunderhawks goaltender Patrick Flaherty.

Ferocious forechecking by McLaughlin and linemate Andrew Zerban deep in the Grand Rapids’ zone set up the pass and the goal.

The loss was the third in as many games for Grand Rapids, which entered the weekend with a 5-0-0 record before losing 4-3 to Edina and 3-1 to Eden Prairie in the first two rounds of the round-robin tournament.

Elk River (5-2-1) tied Eden Prairie 3-3 and lost 4-1 to Edina before knocking off the Thunderhawks.

All the scoring in regulation came in the third period.

Grand Rapids sophomore Avery Peterson one-timed a shot from the point past Franke for a power-play goal that tied the score at 2 with 9:05 remaining.

McLaughlin’s breakaway goal 4:59 seconds into the third period – he went backhand and lofted the puck high into the upper netting – put Elk River ahead 2-1.

Grand Rapids’ Cody Mann scored a shorthanded goal 2:34 into the third period to break a scoreless tie. Mann whipped pass from Nate Mondry past the catching glove of Elk River’s otherwise unbeatable Anders Franke.

Franke made 18 of his of his 37 saves in the third period, when Elk River managed just three shots.

Elk River’s Jake Jaremko tied the score at 1, beating Flaherty from the slot less than 2 minutes after Mann’s goal.

Flaherty made 26 saves for Grand Rapids.

-- Loren Nelson, MN Hockey Hub editor

1. Jerad McLaughlin, Elk River
McLaughlin’s steal in the Grand Rapids zone and resulting breakaway goal was highlight-reel worthy. Most impressive was McLaughlin’s patience in waiting for Grand Rapids goaltender Patrick Flaherty to drop to his knees before backhanding a shot high into the goal. McLaughlin also has some grit to his game, setting up the winning goal after some ferocious forechecking behind the Grand Rapids goal.

2. Anders Franke, Elk River
Both goalies had shutouts going through two periods, but Franke was forced to make numerous point-blank stops in the third, including two in the final minute  when Grand Rapids’ Nate Mondry burst in on a breakaway and Curtis Simonson connected on his whack at the rebound. Franke was also sharp in the early going in overtime, and he finished with 37 saves, 18 of them coming in the third period.

3. Nate Mondry, Grand Rapids
The senior forward was a playmaking machine, setting up several golden scoring chances in the third period and the early stages of the overtime session. The speedy Mondry finished with just one assist, but could have easily had three or four more.

-- Loren Nelson, MN Hockey Hub editor

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Micah Miller leaps to the fans after scoring the game winner.

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