Breck senior Carter Breitenfeldt (10) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring his third goal during a 6-1 victory over Minneapolis. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Breck's Mitch Machlitt (15) give Minneapolis defenseman Cameron Sullivan (19) a shove as he tries to get to the net. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Breck breezed to a 6-1 victory over Minneapolis Tuesday night at Parade Ice Garden, earning its way to the Class A, Section 2 title game for the eighth time this decade.
Senior captain Carter Breitenfeldt notched a hat trick, and in net, junior goaltender Linden Olness allowed just one goal and made 10 saves as the Mustangs (22-3-2) rolled to an easy victory over sixth-seeded Minneapolis.
“We’re moving on, that’s what matters,” Breck coach Les Larson said. “This one is done, and we are ready to turn the page.”
Breitenfeldt scored twice in the final four minutes of the opening period as the Mustangs, ranked No. 2 in Class 1A in the state coaches' poll, took a while to warm before finding their full stride. Once there, the Mustangs overwhelmed Minneapolis with its speed and depth.
“The nature of section games is that it’s one (loss) and done,” Larson said. “The start of every game, everyone is going like crazy, and at times it’s helter skelter. Sometimes things don’t click, because it’s just a mass of nerves out there on both sides.”
Eventually, Breck settled in to dominate the first two periods, and outshooting their opponents 27-5 to take a 5-0 lead into the third before slowing a bit with unnecessary penalties that moved the team a step back collectively, despite their healthy lead.
Over a five minute span midway through the third, Breck drew three penalties for 16 minutes. It wasn’t enough for Minneapolis to creep back into the game, but it was enough to frustrate Larson and the Breck coaching staff.
That’s one thing that can’t carry over, Larson said.
“We can’t play stupid,” he said. “It’s all about mental toughness...there’s no reason to take those penalties when you’re up five goals. I’m a little disappointed in the way we lost our composure. It’s the end of the season, and we should know better.”
Junior forward Huck Sorock scored Minneapolis’ lone goal, coming 3:15 into the third period. Goaltender Preston Holt stopped 27 shots for Minneapolis.
Breck will face familiar foe Delano for the section title, back at Parade on Thursday. It’s the third time in the last four years the schools will battle for the shot to go to state.
“We’re good enough to win on Thursday, I think,” Larson said. “Delano is a good team, but if we play as well as we can, and not be dumb about it, then I think we will be alright.”
Carter Breitenfeldt's three goals led Breck to a 6-1 victory over Minneapolis. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
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