Senior Noah Vanderkoii drives a shot toward the Wings goalie.
The boys’ hockey team is the latest team from Buffalo to suffer a slew of injuries.
Already playing without senior defenseman Michael Sawdey, senior forward Conley Stumpfl and junior forwards Tom Rooney, and Carter Patnode, the Bison left Moose Sherritt Arena in Monticello last Saturday, Jan. 23 minus another body in a 6-4 road defeat to MAML, the co-op team from Monticello, Annandale, and Maple Lake.
About midway through period one, junior defenseman Nick Hanson took a hit along the boards and would not return. That left Bison head coach Aaron Johnson with an even shorter bench – particularly on defense.
“It’s tough when you have five varsity players out. Losing Hanson was a big loss for us,” Johnson said. “We didn’t anticipate another injury, so we had our young defensemen play full junior varsity games. It left us with only three defensemen for most the varsity game.”
Through all the turmoil, Buffalo was buzzing all game and built a 2-0 lead on goals by junior forwards Stone Goodmanson and Cade Stensby. Despite a 31-20 shots advantage after two periods, the Moose went into the locker room tied 2-2 on goals by Casey Chiodo and Nick Zwack.
A wild third period began with a pair of power-play goals in the opening 1:56 from MAML forward Jaden Jarmuzek. Stensby and junior Blake Habisch answered for Buffalo scoring two goals 2:26 apart to tie the score 4-4. The Magic would score the eventual game winner, again on the power play, on Brenden Stiller’s first career varsity goal. Chido would ice it with an empty netter with 1:36 remaining.
Buffalo outshot the Moose 47-28, but MAML goalie Tyler Klatt made 43 saves to record his first career varsity win. MAML also won the special teams battle going 3-for-8 on the power play while the Bison were 0-for-5.
“We have to be more disciplined,” Johnson said. “Part of those penalties were fatigue from the short bench, and part was being undisciplined. Even strength, they only had about five shots on goal.”
The loss was the third time in the past five games Buffalo had an opportunity to pull its record to the .500 mark. They pulled to 7-8-2 overall thanks to a 4-1 road win Thursday, Jan. 21 at Princeton.
At the time, the game kept the Bison’s slim conference title hopes alive being a four-point contest. Buffalo’s loss to MAML, coupled with conference-leading Rogers’ 4-3 overtime win last Saturday over St. Francis, officially eliminated the Bison from any title hopes being seven-points back with six points remaining.
Buffalo built a 4-0 lead last Thursday against Princeton on a pair of goals from Habisch, and one each from senior forward Kevin Kemp and junior forward Luke Ramsey. Coupled with his three-point effort against MAML, Habisch has 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) in his past six games.
“Blake has been really good,” Johnson said. “It took him time to get adjusted to the varsity game, but since the holiday tournament, he has been really good.”
Buffalo senior goalie Taylor Strenge’s bid for his third shutout was spoiled at 5:49 of period three as Jake Carlson scored the lone goal for the Tigers.
TIE IN NEW HOPE
Senior captain Brady Hartman’s goal with 1:57 left in regulation helped salvage a 3-3 overtime tie Tuesday, Jan. 26 at Robbinsdale Armstrong-Cooper Wings.
For the second straight game, the Bison enjoyed a 2-0 second-period lead. After a scoreless first period, goals by senior Noah VanderKooi and a power-play tally by Habisch gave Buffalo a 2-0 advantage. But like the MAML game, the Bison allowed three straight goals, two coming in period two with Buffalo down two men. The Wings took a 3-2 lead 22 seconds into period three. Hartman’s goal came on the power play. Strenge made 21 saves in goal to earn the tie.
Buffalo 4, Princeton 1
(Thursday, Jan. 21 at Prinecton)
Bison 2 2 0 - 4
Tigers 0 0 1 - 1
First period: B -- Blake Habisch (Cade Stensby, Brady Hartman) PP, 16:13; B -- Kevin Kemp (Brady Hartman) 16:48.
Second period: B -- Luke Ramsey (Connor Kuhlmann, Nick Hanson) 2:28; B -- Habisch (Kemp, Pearson) 4:36.
Third period: P -- Jake S. Carlson (Tyler McAlpine, Sam Schroeder) 5:49.
Goalies: B – Taylor Strenge (win) 23 shots, 22 saves; P – Owen Othoudt (loss) 10 shots, 6 saves; P -- Gabe Pangerl 29 shots, 29 saves. Shots: B -- 8-13-18 – 39; P -- 2-13-8 – 23. Power Plays: B – 1-5; P – 0-4.
MAML 6, Buffalo 4
(Saturday, Jan. 23 at Monticello)
Bison 1 1 2 - 4
Moose 0 2 4 - 6
First period: B -- Stone Goodmanson (Gavin Welch) 6:14.
Second period: B -- Cade Stensby (Blake Habisch) 5:23; MAML -- Casey Chiodo (Ben Ward, Brenden Stiller) 6:02; MAML -- Nick Zwack (Ward) 9:05.
Third period: MAML -- Jaden Jarmuzek (Zwack, Ward) PP, 1:33; MAML - Jarmuzek (Charlie Voller, Zwack) PP, 1:56; B -- Stensby (Habisch, Goodmanson) 2:07; B -- Habisch (Kevin Kemp) 4:33; MAML -- Stiller (Chiodo) PP, 11:41; MAML -- Chiodo (Zwack) 15:24.
Goalies: B – Ben Zitur (loss) 28 shots, 22 saves; MAML – Tyler Klatt (win) 47 shots, 43 saves; Shots: B -- 14-17-16 – 47; MAML -- 9-11-8 – 28. Power Plays: B – 0-5; MAML – 3-8.
Buffalo 3, Armstrong/Cooper 3
(Tuesday, Jan. 26 at New Hope)
Bison 0 2 1 0 - 4
Wings 0 2 1 0 - 1
First period: No scoring.
Second period: B -- Noah VanderKooi (Nick Mueller, Stone Goodmanson) 7:28; B -- Blake Habsich (Cade Stensby, Mueller) PP, 11:57; AC -- Kyle Sweeney (Andy Burns, Erik Evans) PP, 14:31; AC -- Nicholas Gonrowski (Al Jacobson, Mitchell Waletzki) PP, 15:57.
Third period: AC -- Nick Holscher (Evans, Gonrowski) 0:22; B -- Brady Hartman (Habisch, Kevin Kemp) PP, 15:03.
Goalies: B – Taylor Strenge (tie) 24 shots, 21 saves; AC – Keegan Odell (tie) 36 shots, 33 saves; Shots: B -- 5-13-13-5 – 36; AC -- 7-9-7-1 – 24. Power Plays: B – 2-4; AC – 2-3.