In a battle of two Northwest Suburban top teams, as Blaine (#4 in the latest myFOXhockey power poll) faced Maple Grove (#10 in the latest myFOXhockey power poll).
The Bengals were impressive defensively, choking away the little space the Crimson had offensively. They also found the power play scoring on four of five opportunities and cruised to a 6-1 win.
Blaine scored first on the man advantage when Zac Frischmon worked the puck past Crimson goaltender Sean Elmer just five seconds into the power play. With Alec Horton in the box for tripping for Maple Grove, Blaine went on the attack once again. Eric Scheid put the home team up 2-0 at 12:06. The home team skated to the locker room with a 2-0 lead.
The dynamic of the game changed two minutes into the second period when Tyler Dunagen of Maple Grove was given a game disqualification major penalty for checking from behind. The Bengal power play that had already scored twice would have five minutes to go to work. Blaine took complete advantage and control of the contest scoring three times in that five minute power play as Tony Larson, Eric Scheid and Nick Bjugstad all tallied. In the blink of an eye, it was 5-0.
Not only was it an impressive display of special teams, defensively Blaine limited Maple Grove opportunities only allowing eight shots on goal through the first two periods. (16 total for the game). The Crimson were able to get on the scoreboard at 11:58 of the second period to make it a 5-1 Bengal lead. That would be all they would be able to muster against Blaine goalie Dan Harper.
In a game that saw 31 penalty minutes, the difference in the game came down to special teams. Maple Grove went 0 for 7 on the power play and had opportunities with the man advantage, but could not sustain any pressure on the Bengals.
Blaine moves to 13-1 on the season and will face Centennial on Saturday night.
Maple Grove drops to 10-2-2 and will face Osseo on Saturday night.
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