Burnsville's Will Missling (27) scores the winning goal in Saturday's game against Eagan and goaltender Andrew Lindgren. Photo by Jon Laqua
Will Missling spent most of last season buried so deep on the Burnsville depth chart it would have taken a coal miner’s helmet and pickaxe to find him.
He started this season in pretty much the same spot – glued to the bench.
Roles can change quickly and often for coach Janne Kivihalme’s Blaze, and on Saturday night Missling, a 5-foot-8, 150-pound senior, was skating alongside star forwards Cole Borchardt and Brock Boeser on Burnsville’s top line in a 3-1 win over Eagan in the finale of the South Suburban Conference Showcase at the Bloomington Ice Garden.
Senior Will Missling has three goals this season, including the winner against Eagan on Saturday. Photo by Jon Laqua
Missling scored the winning goal early in the the third period when he took a Carter Dupre shot from the point off his skate, the puck eventually dribbling past Eagan goaltender Andrew Lindgren. The goal, Missling’s third of the season, came 49 seconds into the third and sparked Burnsville to the dominating win (the Blaze had a 35-16 advantage in shots).
“The last couple of games we have been playing together, it seems to be working for the team,” Missling said of being paired with Borchardt and Boeser, two of the state’s top forwards. “We’ve gotten a few wins. I hope we stay together, because I think it is working.”
Smart kid, that Missling. Who wouldn’t want to skate with Boeser, who has committed to play at Wisconsin, and Borchardt, another likely future Division I player?
“He has an excellent hockey IQ,” Kivihalme said about Missling. “He has great awareness of the ice and his linemates.”
Boeser, who scored twice for the Blaze, likes the way his new linemate pays attention to detail.
“He’s a really smart kid,” Boeser said about Missling, nicknamed "The Missile". “He does all the little things right.”
Burnsville’s forwards, and especially it’s top line, had plenty of room to operate in the Eagan defensive zone and applied more and more pressure as the game wore on. The Wildcats, who got their lone goal on a power-play blast from the point by defenseman Tommy Muck, played without senior Nick Wolff, one of the hardest hitting defensemen in the state.
Wolff was involved in an incident at school and suspended for three days, knocking him out of Saturday’s game and Eagan’s matchup against Prior Lake on Tuesday.
“He would have laid one of those guys up, and they wouldn’t have had so much room,” Eagan coach Mike Taylor said about Wolff, a wrecking ball in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League this fall. “That’s just what he does for us.”
-- Loren Nelson