EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- A day after being named a Mr. Hockey Award finalist, Cade Gleekel came out and scored the game-winning goal and added an empty-net goal to secure a 5-3 win for top-ranked and unbeaten Benilde-St. Margaret's at fourth-ranked Eden Prairie.
A three-goal first period ignited the Red Knights' 22nd victory of the season and Auggie Moore and Connor Mayer played key roles in the first trifecta.
BSM's first goal came when Mayer took a pass at his own blue line from Moore before racing up the left side. From the half wall in the Eagles' zone, he then centered a perfect pass for Jacob Holmers, who slammed home 15th goal of the season at the seven minute, 26 second mark of the opening frame.
Less than two minutes later, Moore started another rush when he tipped a pass in his own zone to Zach Risteau, who carried the puck from his blue line into the Eden Prairie zone. Moving from right to left, Risteau made a pass through the slot and Mayer, breaking in on the right side, tipped the puck into the net from the edge of the crease.
Moore then made it a three goal lead two minutes later when he got loose on the left side and fired a Peter Heimbold rebound into an open net.
The home team came out and cut the deficit to two goals when Spencer Steen scored just 42 seconds into the period but Gleekel scored the first of his two goals, at 6:52, as he trailed a power-play rush and buried a Jacob Holmers pass to restore the three-goal lead.
Eden Praire refused to give up, however, and cut the lead to two once again when Hunter Johannes scored with 4:54 to play in the period and, 5:02 into the final period, Casey Mittelstadt's power-play goal made it a one-goal game heading down the stretch.
The Red Knights then put players in front of the puck en masse over the final 12 minutes, blocking five shots, including one in the closing moments, as Gleekel blocked a shot at the right point and tracked it down in the neutral zone.
From there, he raced down the ice and, with 7.9 seconds remaining, tapped the puck into an empty net to seal the victory.
BSM will carry its 23-game unbeaten streak into the final week of the season, where they will play games Thursday and Saturday.
The Red Knights faced seventh-ranked Wayzata, Thursday, in a 7 p.m. game at the Plymouth Ice Center.
With the Metro West Conference championship sewn up, BSM will close out the regular season at home, Saturday, with a 7 p.m. versus St. Louis Park as they try to go unbeaten in league play for the second consecutive season.
Complete statistics from tonight's game are available here.
Auggie Moore assisted on the game's first two goals before scoring to give BSM a 3-0 first-period lead.
Connor Mayer blocked five shots while setting up the game's first goal and scoring the second.
Tag(s): Benilde-St. Margaret's