Benilde-St. Margaret's forward Grant Besse, a product of Wayzata youth hockey, walked toward two lines of jubilant Trojans' fans after Saturday's game and exclaimed, "That stunk."
Not much more needed to be said. Wayzata unloaded on Benilde-St. Margaret's, building a six-goal lead in the second period en route to a 7-1 victory in the Holiday Hockey Classic championship game at the St. Louis Park Recreation Center.
If Akash Batra's goal 20 seconds into the game caught defending Class 2A state champion Benilde-St. Margaret's off guard, the No. 5 Red Knights (8-3) would be floored in the second period.
No. 3 Wayzata (10-1) erupted for five goals that period, the first four within a four-minute span. The Trojans spread the scoring. Chad Olson's power-play tally made it 2-0 at 4:41. Jack Sorensen, Max Zimmer and Brian Machut added goals during the next 3 minutes, 32 seconds. Chase Haller later scored to make it 6-0.
"Did I think we were going to win 7-1 tonight? No," Trojans coach Pat O'Leary said. "But at the same time, you could feel the energy going with us. Some of those goals came on really skilled plays."
Wayzata has found success stifling the opposition so far this season. Saturday marked the Trojans' ninth consecutive victory, and they have given up two or more goals only three times during that span. Senior goaltender Aaron Dingmann stood tall, stopping 39 Red Knights' shots.
Wayzata set an early tone Saturday by killing a Benilde-St. Margaret's five-minute major penalty in the first period. The Red Knights managed six shots -- the same number Wayzata blocked.
"We did a good job on their power play in the first period, and I think that was the difference in the game," O'Leary said.
Said Red Knights coach Ken Pauly of the failed power play: "They planted their flag and said, 'We're playing our game tonight.' We didn't bring our flag."
The Red Knights won't have long to wait for a shot at redemption. The teams meet again Jan. 3.
"We ran into a good team tonight, and the truth is I think we were exposed a little bit," Pauly said. "We better let this loss go down the drain but not the lesson."