For most the season, Buffalo boys’ hockey head coach Aaron Johnson has seen a glimpse of his team’s present, as well as the future. Saturday’s 8-1 home victory on Jan. 10 over Cambridge-Isanti at the Civic Center featured a little of both.
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Buffalo senior Jerame Schuetzle celebrates his third of four goals he scored in the Bison’s 8-1 home win Saturday, Jan. 10 against Cambridge-Isanti. (Photos by Rob LaPlante)
Captain Reed Morehouse added three helpers and leads defensemen in points
Still not playing with his full lineup, which included senior Jake Ramsey missing his third straight game, Bison senior Gunnar Goodmanson and Jerame Schuetzle more than picked up the slack.
In a relatively sloppy opening period, Schuetzle’s power-play goal with 51 seconds remaining opened the floodgates for a huge game for both his line and the power play.
The Bison would break the game open scoring four more times, including Schuetzle’s third goal of the game giving Buffalo a 5-1 lead. The hat trick goal came with the man advantage. Buffalo converted four times on seven attempts on the power play.
“Our execution was better in the second period,” Johnson said. “We counted in the first period about 15 missed passes where we had opportunities to make plays with the puck, instead we were chasing pucks in the corners because we didn’t execute.”
What didn’t work for the Bison in the opening period, did work in the middle stanza. After 34 minutes of hockey, Goodmanson had two goals and three assists, Schuetzle had three goals and one assist and senior captain Reed Morehouse had three helpers from the blue-line.
“I thought we worked hard in the first period,” said Goodmanson, who is still being nagged by a pre-season wrist injury. “We were working our butts off. We just weren’t playing with as much skill and passing up some shots. Our power play came up big and gave us momentum, which was big because we’ve been struggling on that for a while.”
With a commanding lead, Johnson was able to role three lines in the final period, and some of the newer names he relied on early in the season due to an abundance of injuries stepped up.
Gunnar Goodmanson posted six points in the Buffalo win.
The Bison celebrate after a goal.
Sophomore Tom Rooney made it 6-1 with an even strength goal at 2:51 assisted by sophomores Cade Stensby and Nick Hanson. Buffalo’s final power-play tally of the game came at 13:01. Again, it was some fresh faces contributing as sophomore Nick Mueller’s shot from the point was tipped in front by sophomore Luke Ramsey. Junior Conley Stumpfl picked up the second assist on Ramsey’s first career varsity goal.
After a slow start to the season, Mueller said the victory was an emotional lift after the Bison had crawled above the .500 mark, only to drop a game below after losing three straight games prior to the Bluejackets win.
“We had two bad games prior to this one, so we knew we had to turn it around,” Mueller said. “It’s relieving to have this win and hopefully we can keep the pace up to where we need it to be going into our next games.”
The victory was enough to crawl the Bison back to the .500 mark at 7-7 overall. It also improved their conference record to a perfect 4-0. Mueller said the goal this year is to regain that conference championship they won during the 2012-13 season. Rogers (3-2), the defending Mississippi 8 champs, are currently a game behind St. Michael-Albertville for second place.
“I know a couple years ago we won conference, so we’re looking to get that back again,” Mueller said.
While the youngsters were chipping in late in the Bluejackets win, Schuetzle converted his fourth goal of the game and Goodmanson recorded his sixth point of the night with an even strength tally making the score 7-1.
With Luke’s older brother Jake back for the Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper game, both Goodmanson and his head coach are excited what the rest of the season may have in store.
“Having guys out of the lineup the first half of the year is tough,” Goodmanson said. “We dealt with it and that’s over with now. Hopefully the guys that had to step up to fill roles can move back down in the lineup and feel a bit more comfortable.”
“It’s been an interesting year,” Johnson said. “We haven’t been able to field our lineup like we thought we would. I think Jerame, Jake and Gunnar have played together as a line only three games. But with Jake back, everything should fall into place and I think we’re going to make a run here at the end.”
BISON 6, WINGS 0
Five different players: Schuetzle, Goodmanson, junior Kevin Kemp, sophomore Cade Stensby and the first career varsity goal by junior defenseman Noah VanderKooi scored for Buffalo in a 6-0 shutout win on Tuesday, Jan. 13 at home over Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper. Ben Zitur stopped 14 shots to earn his second shutout of the season.
Buffalo 8, Cambridge-Isanti 1
(Saturday, Jan. 10 at Buffalo)
Bluejackets 0 1 0 - 1
Bison 1 4 3 - 8
First period: B – Jerame Schuetzle (Gunnar Goodmanson, Reed Morehouse) 16:09, PP.
Second period: B – Schuetzle (Goodmanson) 0:39; B – Goodmanson (Morehouse, Schuetzle) 5:38, PP; CI – Blaise Fairbanks (Mike Nolt) 7:16, PP; B – Goodmanson (unassisted) 13:01, SH; B – Schuetzle (Goodmanson, Morehouse) 14:36, PP.
Third period: B – Tom Rooney (Cade Stensby, Nick Hanson) 2:51; B – Schuetzle (Kevin Kemp, Goodmanson) 8:42; B – Luke Ramsey (Nick Mueller, Conley Stumpfl) 14:00, PP.
Goalies: CI – Nate Muehlberg (loss) 37 shots, 29 saves; B – Ben Zitur 19 shots, 18 saves. Shots: CI – 9-6-4 – 19; B – 8-18-11 – 37. Power Plays: CI – 1-6; B – 4-7.
Buffalo 6, Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper 0
(Tuesday, Jan. 13 at Buffalo)
Wings 0 0 0 - 0
Bison 2 0 4 - 6
First period: B – Kevin Kemp (Cade Stensby, Nick Mueller) 12:47; B - Gunnar Goodmanson (Jerame Schuetzle) 16:34.
Second period: No scoring.
Third period: B – Stensby (Brady Hartman, Tim Pearson) 5:40; B - Schuetzle (Goodmanson) 5:50; B - Goodmanson (unassisted) 6:05, PP; B - Noah VanderKooi (Kemp) 13:58.
Goalies: AC – Keegan O’Dell (loss) 37 shots, 31 saves; B – Ben Zitur 14 shots, 14 saves. Shots: AC – 3-5-6 – 14; B – 12-12-13 – 37. Power Plays: AC – 0-3; B – 1-9.