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Breck overpowers Apple Valley

By Justin Magill, MN Hockey Hub staff, 12/26/11, 8:59AM CST

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Top-ranked (Class 1A) Mustangs get goals from six players as they take down Eagles

Depth can be a scary thing to have, especially for one of the state's best teams.

No. 1-ranked Breck has one of the more impressive first line's in Conor Andrle, Keegan Iverson and Wesley Iverson.

But if Breck expects to make a run at the Class A title, it needs more than just that top line and for a majority of the season, it has gotten it.

Against Apple Valley, it was the third line of Grant Opperman, Thomas Lindstrom and Matt Colford that got the job done in the Mustangs 6-2 win.

"Today, I started our third line and they produced in a big way for us," Mustangs coach Les Larson said. "We have to be able to do that if we want to continue to be successful."

The "Dragon Line," as coined by the Mustangs, accumulated 10 points against Apple Valley with Colford and Opperman scoring a goal and recording three assists.

Lindstrom chipped in with a goal and an assist.

"I don't know why we are called that, but we are working," Opperman said. "We have been finding ways to get it done."

If dragons do in fact breathe out fire, it was fitting that Breck's third line would be called the "Dragon Line," because their blaze could not be tamed by the Eagles.

In a game where Breck had six different goal scorers, all the players on the "Dragon Line," scored a goal.

"It was just one of those games where we had everything going," Colford said. "We just work hard every shift and it seems to work for us."

"We don't score as much as our other lines," Opperman said. "We need to grind it out a little bit more, but we can score, too."

What made Breck even more dangerous was Apple Valley went to the box often and gave the Mustangs four power-play opportunities.

Breck converted on three of them.

On those, Opperman and Colford had first assists on two.

"We have two power-plays that can go out there," Larson said. "That is unusual and really nice to have, because we don't have to keep one unit out there for two minutes."

If it comes down to it, Larson can always put out the "Dragon Line," to spark a fire in the No. 1-ranked team if there is a need for them.

"That is a good team," Eagles coach Jerry Hayes said. "They are good enough when it's five-on-five.

"We gave them opportunities with power-plays and they made us pay. Teams can't do that against them or else they will have a long, long day."

Statistics, Summary

Game Recap

Breck used six different goal scorers and went 3-4 on the power play to defeat Apple Valley 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the Schwan Cup Silver Division on Monday, Dec. 26 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine.

Matt Colford and Grant Opperman each recorded a goal and three assists for the Mustangs.

Keegan Iverson and Thomas Lindstrom tallied a goal and an assist and were the other multi-point producers for Breck.

Apple Valley got goals Derek Lang in the second and Sean Lang in the third period.

Austin Rudnick and Benjamin Tegtmeyer, both defensemen, scored for the Mustangs as well.

Opperman scored to open the game in the first, just 3 minutes, 53 seconds in.

Later in the period, Iverson blasted a one-timer from the point on the power play to give Breck a 2-0.

Colford scored just over four minutes later, which gave Breack a 3-0 lead in the opening period.

Early in the second, Lindstrom made it 4-0, when he took the puck wide, cut in once he was deep in the Eagles zone, and got off a quick wrist shot to beat Jordy Charles.

Just over four minutes later, Tegtmeyer scored on the power play, a hard shot that rang off the left post and in for a 5-0 Mustangs lead.

Still on the power play, Rudnick scored just 36 seconds later to give Breck a commanding lead.

Smith got Apple Valley on the board with a wrist shot from the slot that found the upper shelf.

Apple Valley scored the only goal in the third period, when Lang was able to score from the point to conclude the scoring for the game.

Charles had to make 21 saves for Apple Valley on 27 shots by Breck.

Kenney was not as busy for Breck, facing 17 shots, stopping 15 for the night.

With the win, Breck advances to the semifinals in the Schwan Cup Silver Division to play Lakeville South on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at the Schwan Super Rink.

Apple Valley will play Stillwater on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at the Schwan Super Rink.

Please check back later for feature stories from today's quarterfinal action.

1. Grant Opperman, Breck
Opperman got the Mustangs going with the first goal of the game. He also had three assists in the game and meshed well with his linemates, Matt Colford and Thomas Lindstrom. Opperman was really close from getting a few more goals, which meant he was constantly putting himself in the right places to score.

2. Matt Colford, Breck
Like his linemate, Colford had a goal and three assists. More of the playmaking type, Colford could have had a few more assists, nonetheless, he had a strong game for the Mustangs.

3. Thomas Lindstrom, Breck
On the same line as Colford and Opperman, Lindstrom took advantage of that by scoring a goal and an assist in the win against Apple Valley. His goal was a pretty one, getting off a quick wrist shot that beat Eagles goalie Jordy Charles, low-stick side, that was just inside the left post.

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Moorhead's Jack Stetz (21) throws his arms up as he and his teammates celebrated the win. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com