The Wayzata High School boys varsity hockey team defeated two top-10 ranked teams on its way to winning the silver division of the annual Schwan Cup holiday tournament last week.
The Trojans (7-3-1) soundly defeated Brainerd/Pillager/Pierz 7-1 in the opening round and then beat Breck 5-4 in overtime before shutting out Benilde-St. Margarets 2-0 in the Silver Division championship. Before the tournament, Let’s Play Hockey ranked Breck 8th in Class A and Benilde 11th in Class AA.
“It’s encouraging to put back-to-back wins together against two very good hockey teams,” said Wayzata coach Carl Davis. “I think the most impressive thing is that we found a way to win. Especially in the Breck game where they came back twice and tied it and our guys found a way to win. It shows a lot of character for our team.”
Wayzata 7, Brainerd/Pillager/Pierz 1
The Trojans scored early and often in the team’s 7-1 victory over Brainerd. Sophomore Bryan Tabery got the team’s first goal five minutes into the first period with assists from senior forward Matt Stratte and junior defenseman Lucas Whelan. Straate scored a powerplay goal on an assist from senior defenseman Dan Raquet. Minutes later Tabery made it 3-0 on another assist from Straate and senior forward Kevin Blackley.
In the second period Blackley scored an unassisted goal before Brainerd’s Bren Smith scored the Warriors’ only goal. Straate scored again on a powerplay (assist: Blackley). Shortly before the period ended, senior defenseman Mike Drasher scored on a blast from the point, assisted by senior defenseman David Russ and senior captain Billy Soule.
Straate completed the hat trick in the third period on an assist from sophomore defenseman D.J. Jones. The five-point performance by Straate helped earn the 6’3”/210 lb senior “Player of Week” honors from Minnesota Sports Preview.
Wayzata 5, Breck 4, OT
It looked like it might be a long night for Wayzata after the eighth-rank Breck scored just 26 seconds into the first period on a shot by Reid Herd. But the Trojans answered several minutes later with goals in quick sucession by Blackley (assists Tony Cameranesi) and junior defenseman Lucas Whelan (assists from Straate and Soule). Junior center Danny Walsh made it 3-1 for Wayzata with assists from Straate and Tabery.
Following a scoreless second period, Breck tied the game 3-3 within the first five minutes of the third period with goals by Wes Iverson (assists from Chase Nystedt, Shayne Ciernia) and Cameron Born (assists from Joe Rehkamp, Reid Herd). Wayzata regained the lead thirty-one seconds later with an unassisted goal by junior forward Scott Holm. Breck tied the game again with less than two minutes remaining a goal by Breck captain Joe Rehkamp (assist: Born).
Play raged back and forth during overtime with several good scoring opportunities by both teams. However, it was Wayzata that emerged victorious on a goal by Straate (assists: Cameranesi, Soule) with 23 seconds remaining in overtime.
Wayzata senior goaltender Tyrone Simcoe stopped 23 shots in the game while goalie John Russell made 37 saves for Breck.
Wayzata 2, Benilde-St. Margarets 0
In the championship game of the Schwan’s Cup silver division, Wayzata faced Benilde-St. Margarets, which had defeated Burnsville and Cretin-Derham Hall. After two scoreless periods, Wayzata’s Blackley put the Trojans on the board with an unassisted goal at 11:14 of the third period. With less than two minutes remaining in the game, Soule scored on a powerplay goal with assists from Whelan and Jones.
Simcoe got the shutout for Wayzata with 21 saves. Benilde goaltender Jacob Meyers had 22 saves.
“To beat Benilde with the championship on the line was a tremendous accomplishment for us at this time in the season,” said Davis.
Wayzata’s impressive performance in the Schwan’s Cup landed the team in 12th position in Minnesota Sports Preview’s ranking of the state’s top 20 Class AA boys high school hockey teams. The Trojans next game is against Moorhead at 2:30 pm on Saturday, January 10 at Plymouth Ice Center.
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