After a 6-2 home ice loss to Moorhead on Jan. 27, Benilde-St. Margaret's boys' hockey team responded with a pair of convincing road victories: a 6-1 rout over Bloomington Jefferson before shutting out Spring Lake Park 15-0.
To no one's surprise, Grant Besse was at the forefront of both games. The junior forward followed up a record-setting performance against the Jaguars with a first- period hat trick against the Panthers. Monday in a 4-3 victory over Wayzata, Besse added two more goals and now stands at 65 points through the Red Knights' 21 games.
He has scored at least a point in all games and has multiple points in 15 games. He carries a streak of seven multi-point games into Wednesday's road matchup at Shattuck-St. Mary's.
"When you dominate the way he [did] at the peewee and bantam level, it almost always translates to varsity," Red Knights coach Ken Pauly said. "But when you see the torrid pace he's on right now, I think you have to say you're a little surprised."
Besse scored five times against Jefferson, setting the school record for career goals in the process. With four regular-season games left in his junior season, Besse sits at 97 goals, nine more than Troy Riddle scored when he played at BSM as a sophomore and junior in the late 1990s.
"Grant just has that knack," Pauly said. "Some guys have the great shot, some guys have great placement. But Grant has the shot, the placement and the calmness. And he gets calmer the closer he gets to the net. Throw those other attributes in there, and it adds up to a lot of goals."
Earlier this season Besse gave a verbal commitment to the University of Wisconsin, where he could join former Red Knights defenseman Patrick Daly as early as 2014.
Besse has yet to decide whether he will return to BSM next season or play junior hockey. His USHL rights are owned by Muskegon.
Lake runneth over
Lake Conference teams make up the top four spots in the latest Class 4A girls' basketball poll. In order, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Edina and Wayzata received the most votes in the Minnesota Basketball News poll. By chance, all four teams play each other on Friday. The Royals play host to the Hornets while the Eagles travel to play the Trojans.