Blaine's Luke Notermann scores just after he left the penalty box during the second period against Elk River/Zimmerman
A second-period collision with an Elk River/Zimmerman player sent the stick of Blaine's Tyler Cline into the air.
But Cline kept his feet, caught the stick and finished the shift with a goal.
It was that sort of night for the host Bengals, who rolled 9-3 Thursday at Fogerty Arena for a 14th consecutive Northwest Suburban Conference victory.
"It's surprising that we got ahead by that much, but it happens when you're working hard," Cline said.
No. 8 Blaine (16-4-1) led 3-0 after the first period on two Jesse Norling goals and one from Luke Notermann. A rush by Cline led to Notermann's goal. Taking two Elk River defenders with him, Cline left the puck for Notermann to put away. All three players were far from finished.
No. 14 Elk River (13-9) got a spark early in the second period as Reggie Lutz scored to cut Blaine's lead to 3-1. But the Bengals scored three times in a span of 63 seconds to take control.
Notermann's second goal of the game made it 4-1, but Elk River's Chase Springman answered 16 seconds later and cut Blaine's lead to 4-2.
The Bengals kept pressing. Cline's second goal of the game, coming 30 seconds after Springman's goal, put Blaine ahead 5-2. Then the Bengals' Dallas Gerads intercepted a wayward Elk River pass in the slot and scored.
"They are an explosive-type team, and you can't give them opportunities," Elk River coach Gordie Roberts said. "We're not a team that's a 9-3 difference, but we were tonight."
After catching his stick, Cline scored to make it 7-2. And Norling completed the hat trick as his slap shot beat Mac Berglove just before the second period ended.
Thursday's victory pushed Blaine's winning streak to 10 games. The Bengals averaged 6.3 goals during the stretch before Thursday's outburst.
"The last couple games the bounces have really been coming our way," Norling said. "But I think that it starts with our hard work. It's the best skating team I've ever been on."