Jaguars' forward Charlie Bach (11) scores a goal in the third period in Bloomington Jefferson's 7-4 victory against Holy Angels in the Section 2AA quarterfinals. Photo by Adam Crane
When the lights are at their brightest the biggest stars are supposed to shine.
When pressure is at its highest peak, leaders are the ones there to calm the waters.
Holy Angels senior Frankie Mork proved his star power with three goals, which gave him 30 on the season.
Recording a hat trick in the Section 2AA quarterfinals is fine and dandy, but when the opposition comes back with seven goals from its heavy-hitters, the hats that hit the ice in recognition of such a feat are mere afterthought.
Bloomington Jefferson's version of the "Big 3" of Jono Lindqusist, Colin Hernon and Johnny Panvica accounted for 59 goals and 105 points.
In the No. 4-seeded Jaguars 7-4 victory against No. 5-seeded Holy Angels on Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Bloomington Ice Gardens, the trio combined for five goals and nine points and helped Bloomington Jefferson advance into the Section 2AA semifinals where it will play No. 1 seed Edina.
It is the time of the season where the best players need to step up and the Jaguars got that and a little more.
Jaguars' senior captain Colin Hernon (25) scored two goals in Bloomington Jefferson's 7-4 win against Holy Angels. Photo by Adam Crane
"You don't win playoff games if your big guys don't play big," Jaguars coach Jeff Lindquist said. "I was very please with all three of their games."
Mork opened the scoring for the Stars in the first period and were on the power play 22 seconds later with an opportunity to take a 2-0 lead and quiet the chaotic Jaguars' student section.
Panvica took exception and scored an unassisted shorthanded goal to tie the score and for the remaining 7 minutes, 30 seconds in the first period Bloomington Jefferson took control.
Not only did Bloomington Jefferson's key players score, but they did so at important times.
The Jaguars had a 2-1 lead heading into the second period, but Mork would tie the score with his second goal.
It only took 33 seconds for Bloomington Jefferson to take the lead back when Lindquist capped off a two-on-one with Hernon, who slid a perfect pass to his linemate.
Hernon provided a little cushion with on his first goal that gave the Jaguars a brief 4-2 lead until Mork capped of his hat trick 1 minute, 14 seconds later.
Panvica struck again in the third, when he scored from close quarters and Hernon added an empty net goal to ice it.
"It was a team effort but it's nice to have our big players playing big," Jeff Lindquist said.
The Jaguars had the luxury of being able to consistently roll three lines throughout the night.
Holy Angels played its top line a majority of the time and had to late as it was trying to climb back.
"Towards the end our depth paid off and we shut them down," Jono Lindquist said. "They played that first line like 70, 60-percent of the game and you can't do that in high school hockey, especially in the section playoffs. We just wore them down because we can roll three lines and just dominate."
The Stars have been able to pump in goals at will this year averaging 5.08 goal-per-game.
However, they have also allowed 4.00 goals-per-game as well.
It was the same story against the Jaguars.
"We can score goals, but we also had trouble keeping the puck out of our net," Stars coach Billy Hengen said. "We were kind of a high flying team this year."
Hengen statement sums out how the Stars and Jaguars opened the Section 2AA playoffs.
High flying, high scoring, up and down action.
For as exciting as it was for the packed Bloomington Ice Gardens, there were some anxious bodies on the benches.
"It was probably the most nerve-wracking game we played all year," Hernon said.
Bllomongton Jefferson advances to the semifinals and will take on Edina. Hengen said he thinks the Jaguars have a good chance to make a run at the section's top seed.
"they're a good skating team. They have some speed and have some skill," he said. "They will probably have a good game against Edina and if they get to Mariucci they will be really tough to beat. If they get to the big sheet they will have a chance."
Jaguars' forward Colin Hernon battles for a loose puck in Bloomington Jefferson's 7-4 win against Holy Angels in the Section 2AA quarterfinals. Photo by Adam Crane
As Billy Hengen came out of the Stars locker room to address the media, he doffed his cap and revealed a partially shaved head.
It is not a new look that he really wanted to have to do, but did it for good reason.
Senior Tony Haeg was diagnosed with non-Hodgin's lymphoma and his final high school season was cut short.
Hengen and Stars' players shaved their heads to honor Haeg, who has been going through treatments and will have more in the future.
Haeg was the Stars fourth leading scoring in the regular season (16-15 -- 31), one of four players with 30 or more points.
WIth three games left in the regular season Hengen and the Stars found out about Haeg's diagnoses.
"It's been a tough last couple weeks for our team. Tony was kind of sick on and off for a few weeks," he said. "We found out before we played Breck that he had lymphoma cancer. It took a big toll on us because Tony is a senior leader. One of our top three goal scorers and one of the favorites in the locker room. Without him it has been a tough few weeks."
Haeg was not in attendance for the whole game, but did make a special appearance prior to the game.
It provided a nice spark for the Stars as they came out with a surge against Bloomington Jefferson.
"Tony came right before the game and surprised the kids," Hengen said. "We had a great first period. After he came in, we had a great first 10 minutes."
Frankie Mork scored three goals but that was not enough for No. 5-seeded Holy Angels in the quarterfinals of the Section 2AA playoffs as No. 4-seeded Bloomington Jefferson defeated the Stars 7-4 on Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Bloomington Ice Gardens.
The Jaguars and Stars traded blow until the third period when Bloomington Jefferson scored three straight goals and had a 7-3 lead until Parker Loving scored with 10 seconds left.
Johnny Panvica led Bloomington Jefferson with two goals and two assists, and senior captain Colin Hernon chipped in with two goals and an assist.
Panvica's first goal was a shorthanded tally less than two minutes after Mork opened the scoring for the Stars. Panvica's second came in the third period, which gave the Jaguars a 6-3 lead.
Despite six power-play opportunities, the Stars were only able to score once with the man-advantage and gave up a shorthanded goal.
Nik Schmitz made 25 saves for Holy Angels and Jaguars goalie Grant Martens stopped 26 shots.
Bloomington Jefferson also got goals from Charlie Straus, Charlie Bach and Jono Lindquist.
The Jaguars (17-9-0) will take on top seed Edina in the Section 2AA semifinals on Saturday, Feb. 23.
1. Frankie Mork, Holy Angels
Even in defeat Mork garners top honors with a hat trick that kept the Stars in a shootout with Bloomington Jefferson. The senior will finish the season with 30 goals, most on the Stars.
2. Johnny Panvica, Bloomington Jefferson
Panvica scored two goals and helped with two assists to give the Jaguars a spark they needed to keep pace with Holy Angels. He got the Jaguars on the board in the first period with a shorthanded goal and it was impeccable timing as Bloomington Jefferson was already down 1-0 at the time.
3. Colin Hernon, Bloomington Jefferson
Playing in what might have been his last game at the Bloomington Ice Gardens, the senior captain made the most of it with two goals and an assist.