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A Grand Rapids forward crashes the net in the Thunderhawks 4-3 win over No. 10 Elk River. Photo by Brian Nelson.

For 19 minutes, Grand Rapids was on the power play. The No. 10-ranked Elks took seven penalties including one 5-minute major and a 4-minute double minor. 

All that time with the man advantage, and the Thunderhawks only came away with one power-play goal. 

Someone should have told them they were just doing things backwards.
Just over 3 minutes into overtime in their 3-2 win over Elk River, the Thunderhawks took a penalty of their own. 

Thirty seconds later, they won.

With David Horsmann in the sin bin for roughing, Avery Peterson got the puck and flew down the wing before firing a low snap shot that beat goaltender Mac Berglove between the legs on Saturday, Dec. 22, at Braemar Arena.

Coming in on net, Peterson looked off a parallel forward and launched the puck on the ice, hoping for a rebound. Although he didn’t get the rebound he was looking for, the result was positive nonetheless.

“It’s a goofy game,” Peterson said with a laugh. “I don’t think you could have written one out like that.”

Truth be told, the penalty box was a friendly place to the Thunderhawks throughout the Edina Holiday Classic. On Friday against Eden Prairie, they scored three power-play goals in the third period, fighting to a tie. 

On Saturday, Grand Rapids scored once with the man-advantage and again when Reid Holum sprang from the box and caught a long pass to move in on Berglove alone, netting a breakaway score.


Grand Rapids' Avery Peterson is mobbed after scoring the game winner. Photo by Brian Nelson.

“He just hopped out, Schaffer Holum made a good heads up play and got the puck up to him,” Peterson said. “He went and scored on a breakaway. We really needed that because it tied the game up. It was huge.”

With all that time to work with, Grand Rapids mostly ran through two lines. Their conversion percentage wasn’t as high as he would have liked but Grand Rapids coach Bruce LaRoque was pleased with the way the Thunderhawks stuck together and played on special teams with injuries to key players. Jake Bischoff, a University of Minnesota recruit and quarterback of the power play, was especially missed.

“Any game is gonna fluctuate momentum based on penalties but then again how well are you gonna do killing them?” LaRoque said. “That can set your team up with a little more energy going the other way.”

The Thunderhawks went 1-1-1 against tough competition in No. 1-ranked Edina, Eden Prairie and Elk River. LaRoque was happy with the experience and the outcomes.

“I think just getting these guys playing three games back to back on the road together as a team … guys gotta meld together a little bit,” he said. “I was proud of their efforts."

Statistics, Summary

Game Recap

Grand Rapids won on an overtime shorthanded goal from junior forward Avery Peterson on  Saturday, Dec. 22, as the Thunderhawks defeated No. 10-ranked Elk River 3-2 in the final game of the Edina Holiday Classic at Braemar Arena in Edina. 

In the second overtime contest in a row for the Thunderhawks (6-2-1), they came out with a win after tying Eden Prairie on Friday. 

The Thunderhawks trailed 2-0 in the game but fought back after a beautiful two-on-one goal finished by Peterson and a breakaway score from Reid Holum who caught a homerun pass after dashing out of the penalty box.

Andrew Zerban had two assists for Elk River (5-4-0) and Reggie Lutz and Tim Sanford scored to build the lead for the Elks.

Goaltender Mac Berglove made 17 saves on 20 shots for Elk River and Hunter Shepard stopped 24 of 26 shots for the Thunderhawks. Shepard played his best game of the weekend and held on for his only win of the three games.

Elk River went 0-3-0 in the tournament.

1. Avery Peterson, Grand Rapids
Holum scored the overtime winner as well as netting the Thunderhawks' first of the game. The senior winger was the centerpiece of the offense, tying for the team lead with his two points. Peterson leads Grand Rapids with 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) in nine games this year.

2. Reid Holum, Grand Rapids
After sitting down in the penalty box, Holum more than made up for it by zipping out and catching a long pass, sending him en route to a breakaway goal. He also assisted on Peterson’s first goal, giving him two points. He is tied for second on the Thunderhawks with 11 points (five goals, six assists).

3. Andrew Zerban, Elk River
Zerban was a catalyst for the Elks, picking up assists on both goals. First he juked goaltender Hunter Shepard and wrapped the puck around the net, dishing to Reggie Lutz who scored. On the second goal he smacked a pipe with a hard shot that bounced out to a waiting Tim Sanford who buried it.


A puck sails by Jacob Jaremko (5) and Peter Jones (15) of Elk River. Photo by Brian Nelson.

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