Blaine winger Joey Lau drives hard to the net against Anoka goalie Robbie Goor in a 3-0 Blaine victory at the State Fairgrounds Coliseum. Photo by Rick Orndorf
Sometimes there’s the occasional, shall we say, “disagreement” among linemates.
“You should have passed!”
“You weren’t open!”
That sort of stuff.
Blaine coach Dave Aus doesn’t mind the bickering so much, as long as it doesn’t get too out of hand. That’s part of his reasoning in putting brothers Luke and Brandon Notermann on the same line. Sure, they might argue some, but they’re brothers. That’s what brothers do.
“Brandon and Luke, it just seemed natural that we put those guys together,” Aus said. “A lot of times with brothers, when they play together, sometimes you get guys bickering with each other, but when they are brothers you just kind of let them go. Because they have been doing it their whole life.”
The Notermann’s can’t afford to hold a grudge. They share the same bedroom (no, they don’t have bunk beds) and take turns driving each other to school (whoever is the least tired climbs behind the wheel).
Luke, a sophomore, and Brandon, a senior, traded off scoring goals in Wednesday’s Section 5AA semifinal against Anoka, with Luke opening the scoring and Brandon matching him with the Bengals’ second goal in an eventual 3-0 triumph at the State Fairgrounds Coliseum in St. Paul.
Luke beat standout Anoka goaltender Robbie Goor to the left post on a wraparound attempt to break a scoreless tie more than 10 minutes into the second period. The goal effectively hacked away the tension that had been swirling around the Bengals’ bench.
“That was big because you could just feel on the bench there was some relief,” Aus said about the Notermann’s opening goal. “We had issues tonight with (senior forward Tyler) Cline’s skates being all messed up. We changed blades three times on his skates.
“Guys are panicking because we are trying to find our manager and get the key (to the locker room). It was chaos.
“When (Luke Notermann scored) I felt like everyone seemed to settle in pretty good.”
Now taking his turn, Brandon Notermann poked a loose puck sitting in the crease behind Goor into the net less than 3 minutes after his brother had scored to put the Bengals ahead 2-0 late in the second.
“Once we got to two, I felt pretty good,” Aus said.
Tyler Frischmon completed the scoring early in the third period and top-seeded Blaine, a team not known for its shutdown defense, limited Anoka to precious few scoring chances. The No. 4 seed Tornadoes mustered just a combined seven shots in the second and third periods.
The victory helped erase the memory of Blaine’s stunning loss to underdog Champlin Park in last year’s section semifinals. The Bengals, ranked No. 5 in the state, entered Tuesday’s game with a 21-4-1 record. Anoka was 12-13-1, with two of those losses coming in lopsided setbacks to Blaine.
Yeah (there’s a sense of relief),” Aus said. “Because you know what happened last year, and everyone talks about that even though they have nothing to do with each other.
“We are a much better team than we were a year ago.”
The chemistry and goal-scoring knack shared by Notermann’s and linemate Riley Tufte, certainly doesn’t hurt the Bengals’ chances. Not that the Notermann’s are always talking strategy -- or bickering about who should have passed to whom -- when they are off the ice.
“We don’t talk hockey that much at home,” Brandon said. “We focus more on the girls and funny conversations.”