A dream scenario or goaltender’s worst nightmare?
That was the question for Lake of the Woods senior Alex Lyon (pictured), the Team North goaltender who was put in the precarious position of facing a penalty shot by Hill-Murray forward Kevin Becker of Team Southeast with less than two seconds remaining.
“I didn’t mind it,” Lyon said with a big smile after preserving a 3-2 Team North victory by making a catching glove snare of Becker’s shot. “Although it would be a lot different right now if I hadn’t made the save.”
What else could he say? The final save served as an exclamation point to brilliant performance by Lyon, who stopped a whopping 46 shots.
“It’s been great,” Lyon said about his experience so far on the last unbeaten Elite League team. “We take a lot of pride being from the north, so it’s always great to beat the Twin Cities guys.”
Lyon played all of last season for Lake of the Woods without the benefit of a breather from his backup and finished with a 12-13-1 record. He had a .918 save percentage and 2.85 goals-against average. So far in the Elite League, Lyon is 3-0 with a .921 save percentage and 3.20 goals-against average.
Team Southeast goaltender Charlie Lindgren, a junior from Lakeville North, also had a solid game, making 29 saves. He said it was only fitting that Lyon ended the game with the big save.
“He was having a big good game, so I’m sure that was what he wanted,” Lindgren said about the pressure-packed scenario for Lyon.
1. Alex Lyon, Team North
Gotta love it when the No. 1 pick is this easy. All Lyon, a senior from Lake of the Woods, did was stop 46 of 48 shots, including a penalty shot by Team Southwest’s Kevin Becker with 1.2 seconds remaining. Yeah, he had a solid game.
2. Patrick Moore, Team North
A senior from Grand Rapids, Moore scored twice, giving the gritty, net-crashing forward three goals in his last two Elite League games.
3. Charlie Lindgren, Team Southeast
Just a junior, the Lakeville goaltender stopped 29 of 32 shots and gave firsthand evidence why he is one of the league’s goaltending stat leaders (.916 save percentage, 2.81 goals-against average).
Team Southeast was missing Apple Valley’s Hudson Fasching for its morning-session game, which meant that Apple Valley’s A.J. Michaelson and Lakeville’s South’s Justin Kloos were sent out with a several different right wingers. Team North’s combinations, by comparison, were much more stable.
Jake Randolph-Dom Toninato-Ben Walker
Comment: No points for the combination, two-thirds of which (Duluth East's Randolph and Toninato) were making a homecoming appearance of sorts. Walker continues to impress with his speed and hustle, which he used effectively on the backcheck.
Jack McFarlane-Judd Peterson-Matt Pohlkamp
Comment: Another line that was held off the scoresheet. That had to be disappointing for Peterson, a Duluth Marshal standout who was playing in his home rink.
Zach Moore-Garrett Hendrickson-Josh Archibald
Comment: Great performance by this unit, as highlighted by Moore’s two goals. There were plenty of other good scoring opportunities, though, as this unit showed some great tenacity on an often dominating forecheck.
Garrett Skrbich-Nick DeCenzo-Zac Schendel
Comment: Duluth East’s Schendel added to what has been an impressive Elite League season so far by scoring the winning goal. Skrbich looks more and more like he could be a dominant player for Hermantown once the high school season starts.
Kevin Becker-Zach Schroeder-A.J. Reid
Comment: Hill-Murray’s Becker was banging away at the puck as the game wound down and was awarded the last-second penalty shot. St. Thomas Academy’s Schroeder and Reid turned in their usual solid performances.
A.J. Michaelson-Justin Kloos-
Comment: Michaelson and Kloos each were credited with assists on a power-play goal by Benilde-St. Margaret’s Patrick Daly. They had their moments but clearly missed Fasching, who usually provides the line’s forechecking muscle.
Michael Zajac-Michael Dockry-Will Merchant
Comment: This line was held off the scoresheet but Eagan’s Zajac and Merchant clearly are setting themselves up for a high-scoring high school season.
Cullen Hurley-Bob Kinne-Tony Barbato
Comment: Kinne scored the first goal for Team Southeast as he finished off a shift in which he had earlier hit the post.
Jake Bushey (pictured) stood outside the Team North lockerroom at MARS Lakeview Arena situated on a Duluth hilltop and was asked to estimate how many hours he had logged on the building’s lone ice sheet.
“I couldn’t even make a guess,” Bushey said.
Needless to say, a lot would be a good starting estimate.
Bushey plays for Duluth Marshall, the private school that sits just on the other side of the arena’s parking lot and plays its home games at MARS Lakeview.
And while Bushey’s only mark on the scoresheet was a 2-minute penalty for hooking, he continued to play a major role on a Team North defense that has been stifling.
“I loved it,” Bushey said about playing at his home rink. “I got to sleep in my own bed. And it’s a 10-minute drive to get here.”
Team North forward Judd Peterson also plays for Duluth Marshall. In all, there were 10 Duluth-area players in the Team North lineup.
Alex Lyon of Lake of the Woods made a glove save on a penalty shot by Hill-Murray's Kevin Becker with 1.2 seconds remaining as Team North held on to beat Team Southeast 3-2 on Saturday, Sept. 18, in an Upper Midwest High School Elite League game at MARS Lakeview Arena in Duluth.
Becker was awarded the penalty shot after Team North defenseman Jared Kohlquist of Hermantown was called for a delay of game penalty when it was ruled he intentionally knocked the net off its moorings during a wild goalmouth scramble.
After making a couple of head fakes that failed to fool Lyon, Becker veered right and tried to shoot into the upper reaches of the net. Lyon, perfectly positioned, calmly snared the puck with his glove hand.
Duluth East's Zach Schendel scored the winning goal for Team North with 4 minutes, 21 seconds remaining.
Patrick Moore of Grand Rapids added two goals for Team North, which improved 4-0 with the win.
Forward Bob Kinne of Cretin-Derham Hall and defenseman Patrick Daly of Benilde-St. Margaret's scored for Team Southeast (1-2-1), which led 2-1 entering the third period.
Lyon finished with 48 saves. Charlie Lindgren of Team Southeast made 29 stops.