ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. -- With an unbeaten regular-season on the line and facing an unheralded St. Louis Park squad, Benilde-St. Margaret's saw the Orioles take a one-goal lead into the third period.
However, the Red Knights stepped on the gas pedal in the final frame, scoring three goals in a two minute, 56 second span, and went onto a 5-2 win over their crosstown rival.
Despite a 14-3 BSM advantage in shots on goal in the opening period, it was the visiting team which got on the scoreboard first when Willy Basil took a pass from Luke Mobley and, from the bottom of the first faceoff circle, snapped a shot between goalie Ryan Bischel and the near post for a power-play goal at the 10:21 mark.
The second period got off to a fast start for the Red Knights as Zach Risteau's pass from the left wing found Nick Austin in the slot as he trailed the play into the Oriole zone. From there, Austin's wrist shot found the back of the net for his 11th goal of the season.
The Orioles responded quickly, scoring less than three minutes later when Lexi Robello converted a turnover into a short-handed goal and a 2-1 lead.
They would hold onto that lead for more than 18 minutes before Risteau took a pass from Connor Mayer in the left corner. He turned back into the middle of the ice and, while crossing the slot, let loose with a backhand shot across the body of SLP goalie Conor Klaers and into the far upper corner.
The goal would set off a quick flurry for the Red Nights as Jack Qualen crashed the net 63 seconds later and ended a 14-game goal-scoring drought with his third goal of the season.
BSM didn't stop there as, 53 seconds later, Auggie Moore converted a Luke Horton rebound to make it a 4-2 game to give his team a cushion.
The Orioles pulled Klaers for an extra attacked with 2:20 to play but the move backfired when Risteau tipped an Oriole pass in his own zone. He picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone and, after crossing the red line, flipped the puck into an empty net, the third consecutive game in which BSM sealed a victory with an empty-net goal.
While the offense was finally getting on track in the final period, Bischel was backstopping his team's efforts by stopping 11 shots in the final 17 minutes, after seeing just 10 shots in the first two periods. He finished with 19 saves to record his state-leading 23rd win of the season.
BSM will enter the Section 6AA playoffs, Thursday, as the likely top seed. Both the Red Knights and Orioles will find out their quarterfinal match ups, Sunday, as the team's are seeded and pairings announced.
The four quarterfinal games are slated for 7 p.m. starts at the home sites of the top four seeds.
The semifinals will be next Saturday with times to be announced at either Braemar Arena or the Bloomington Ice Garden.
The Section 6AA championship will then be played Wednesday, Feb. 24, at Mariucci Arena at 6 p.m.
Complete statistics from tonight's game can be found here.
Jack Qualen's third goal of the season proved to be the game winner against the Orioles.
Ryan Bischel stopped 19 of 21 shots, including all 11 he faced in the third period.
Tag(s): Benilde-St. Margaret's