The Wayzata Trojans scored four unanswered goals in the first two periods and hung on for a 4-3 win over the Hopkins Royals in Classic Lake Conference action. The win catapults the Trojans in solid position for Section 6AA seedings. With a pair of wins over the Royals, and a win over the Benilde-St. Margaret's Red Knights, the Trojans most certainly should have the all important 3rd seed.
At stake was the ability to avoid the Red Knights in a tough first round game and more importantly a potential semi-final date with the red-hot Eden Prairie Eagles. The Trojans stepped on the gas early and took a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Danny Walsh and Scott Holm. Walsh scored his 14th of the season on a beautiful forehand to backhand shovel to the shelf over Hopkins goalie Alex Fons.
As the Trojans continued to force the issue on the Royals in the offensive zone, Holm scored an a gorgeous two way passing play with Bryan Tabery at 12:01 of the first. As Holm fed Tabery low in the slot, Tabery held the puck and fed a pass back to Holm who tapped in the goal for his 8th tally of the season.
It was more of the same to start the second period as the Trojans, a physically strong team, continued their jump through the neutral zone and in the offensive zone. At 6:57, Wayzata's Matt Straate scored his 12th of the season for the commanding 3-0 lead. After that goal, it was like a revival of sorts at the Hopkins Pavilion as the Royals went to work and generated a number of chances including two second period Archie Skallbeck posts, and a puck that was eerily close to the goal line, only to be shoved under Wayzata goalie Ty Simcoe.
Meanwhile, Kevin Blackley peeled a puck off the end boards off a shot from Billy Soule and tucked it in the back of the net for the commanding 4-0 lead with :53 left in the second period. The lesson learned in any game with the Royals is they have a shut down goalie and too much skill up front to keep held down for an entire game.
As Travis Boyd, Archie Skallbeck, and Nate Seashore continued to come in waves, the Royals picked up where they left off in the third period and finally solved Simcoe as Seashore buried a shot from the slot to the high glove hand side of Simcoe for his 14th of the season with 13:16 left in the third period. The goal was a power play tally, the only one man advantage of the game.
Just 1:38 later, Boyd connected as he forced one through the blocker pad of Simcoe for the two goal deficit. It was not as though the Trojans stopped playing and hid in a defensive shell. The Royals upped their pace and continued to work for their chances. As the precious moments ticked off the clock, the Royals were being denied the middle of the ice until defenceman Tom Plotkin took advantage of open ice and walked the neutral zone, gained the blue line and fired a shot high to the blocker side of Simcoe who could only wave at it without his stick in his hand. Plotikin's 1st of the season was scored with 2:02 left in the third period.
The Trojans spent the next :40 in the Hopkins zone and shut them down not allowing a high quality chance late in the period. Wayzata fired 32 shots at Fons while Simcoe made 23 saves in picking up his 12th win of the season. the Trojans improved to 15-8-1 on the season and will finish their schedule Saturday with a game at Armstrong. The Royals who fell to 14-9-1 overall travel to Buffalo for their final game of the regular season.
With the seeding meeting on Sunday night, it will be interesting to see if the Thursday night win will be enough for the Trojans to garner the all important #3 seed in Section 6AA.
Tag(s): All Articles