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Spuds shut down Red Knights

By Walker Orenstein, MN Hockey Hub staff, 01/27/12, 11:36AM CST

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Jacob Uglem scores three points for No. 7 Moorhead in win over Benilde-St. Margaret's


Senior defenseman Jacob Uglem of Moorhead scored one goal and had two assists against Benilde-St. Margaret's. Photo by Helen Nelson

After Moorhead scored its fourth goal in the Spud’s 6-2 victory over Benilde-St. Margaret’s at the St. Louis Park Rec Center, the goal was announced over the loudspeakers. 

You could hear the humor in the scorekeeper’s voice, and the message was met with laughter and cheering, even from the Benilde-St. Margaret’s fans.

“Uglem… from Uglem… and Uglem…” 

Although it was incorrectly announced, (it was actually Uglem from Uglem and Carey) it effectively described the game in one short phrase. 

Leading the charge for the Uglem family were juniors and twin brothers Tony and Nicholas Uglem.

Nicholas scored first for the Spuds with a hand from Tony on the play. Then Jacob Uglem, a senior defenseman, found the back of the net. In the third, Tony completed the family hat trick, with an assist from Nicholas. 

Scoring is nothing new for Tony and Nicholas who lead Moorhead in points with 26 and 25 respectively. 

What was more unusual, however, was that their older brother Jake got in on the action, netting a goal and tacking on two assists in the victory. The three made for his first multi-point game of the year and brought his season total to 13, which consists of five goals and eight assists. 

When asked if it felt good to put some points on the board, Jake answered with a smile.

“Yeah it does, it really does. I don’t do it much,” he said. “It’s fun, but as a defenseman I’m defensive minded and I like shutting people down.”

Moorhead coach Dave Morinville echoed what Jake had to say. 

“Jake Uglem is a very solid defenseman for us,” Morinville said. “Kind of a defensive defenseman, but he gives us some offense and can be a physical player for us. I thought he did have one of his better games.”

The whole family had one of their better games, each scoring a goal and dishing two assists.

“Real honest, hardworking, not dirty players but physical players,” Morinville said. “We have some guys that are really gritty, snotty, dirty players but these guys are just hard working physical hockey players.”

So what’s the secret to the success? There has to be a mystery ingredient to a family that has combined for 64 points on a No. 7-ranked 15-3-0 squad.  

“I don’t know what it is, but it was really working today,” Tony Uglem said. “We’ve been playing hockey together for a long time. It’s nice, we have a connection on the ice, so it’s nice to play with them. It’s a lot of fun.”

Although his brothers get a lot of attention, Jake said he enjoys watching them score goals. He doesn’t miss an opportunity however to rub it in their face when he contributes on the offensive end.

“Yeah I try to do that,” he said with a laugh. “Put ‘em in their place.”


From left: Moorhead's Terry Leabo (6), Jacob Uglem, Bryant Christian and Aaron Herdt (8) celebrate after Uglem scored a goal against Benilde-St. Margaret's. Photo by Helen Nelson

Revenge against the Red Knights

The last time No. 7-ranked Moorhead and No. 6-ranked Benilde-St. Margaret’s met was in the Sports Authority Holiday Hockey Classic, at the St. Louis Park Rec Center.

The Red Knights won that matchup 5-3 before moving on to lose to Maple Grove in the championship game of the tournament. 

The loss stuck with the Spuds, who used the old memories to fire themselves up in the rematch, winning 6-2 on Saturday Jan. 27 at the St. Louis Park Rec Center.

“I think revenge is an easy motivator and I think that’s obviously helped us a lot,” Moorhead coach Dave Morinville said.

Moorhead didn’t just prove itself against a tough team, it silenced a feisty squad with three goals in the third period, earning the Spuds a definitive win. 

Senior defenseman Jacob Uglem was certain his team hadn’t taken another three-and-a-half hour bus ride from Moorhead just to lose.

“We wanted to come out here and gain a little respect,” Uglem said. “People down here in the cities don’t really respect us from Moorhead, and we’re here to send a message.”

“It’s a shot in the arm, a little confidence after getting beat by them,” Morinville said. I think that it’ll help us say, ‘Hey, you know what, if we play this way, this is what will win games for us.’ ”


Moorhead's senior defenseman Jacob Uglem (5) blocks Benilde-St. Margaret's Jake O'Borsky as O'Borsky attempts a shot at goalie Michael Bitzer (33). Photo by Helen Nelson

Statistics, Summary

Game Recap

The No. 7-ranked Spuds (15-3-0) ousted the No. 6-ranked Red Knights (13-5-0) with three unanswered goals in the third period to win by a margin of 6-2.

Junior forward Tony Uglem scored just 11 seconds into the third period to push the Spud’s lead to 4-2, silencing a crowd that had been energized following Grant Besse’s late second period breakaway goal.

From there, it was all Spuds. Thomas Carey scored with 5:57 to play and Logan Ness sealed the deal, scoring with just 57 seconds left. What started out as a close contest ended as a blowout.

Junior star Grant Besse opened up the scoring in the first period when he ripped a shot past a stretching Michael Bitzer on a two-on-one opportunity. The lead wouldn’t last long however when Logan Ness tied the game around four minutes later with a power play goal.

Nicholas and Jacob Uglem scored the next two for Moorhead in the first, giving them a 3-1 lead after the first.

Moorhead dominated the second period but couldn’t score. Instead, Besse struck again to make it 3-2.

The Uglem brothers (Jacob, Nicholas, and Tony) scored nine points in the victory, and Michael Bitzer made 43 saves in the game.  


Moorhead's Tony Uglem (10) takes a shot at Benilde-St. Margaret's goalie Justin Quale. Photo by Helen Nelson

1. Nicholas Uglem, Tony Uglem, and Jacob Uglem, Moorhead
The trio of brothers dominated Moorhead’s victory from the word "go." Each tallied three points in the win, accounting for nine total points on the six goals. As if they were trying to match each other perfectly, each also had one goal and two assists. Tony and Nicholas lead the Spuds in points with 26 points (Tony) and 25 (Nicholas). Jacob, the older brother and defenseman, had his first multi-point game of the season, bringing his total to 13. 

2. Michael Bitzer, Moorhead
Bitzer was his usual stellar self, stopping 43 shots, including numerous golden scoring chances by Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Both goals he allowed were all but unstoppable, as both times Grant Besse was bearing down wide-open on the goaltender. Bitzer has a 1.98 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.  

3. Grant Besse, Benilde-St. Margaret’s
Besse was the shining star once again for the Red Knights. He scored both their goals, and scored them in brilliant fashion. He leads his team in points with 51 (24 goals, 27 assists) and ranks eighth in the state.


Senior Moorhead goalie Michael Bitzer. Photo by Helen Nelson

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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