Six games into Trent Eigner’s first season as St. Thomas Academy’s coach, it’s clear that his team is starting to play with an identity.
“We’re (six) games into my tenure here at St. Thomas and there’s still the realities of getting to know the personalities of the kids and I think it’s kind of ironic,” Eigner said. “ I don’t even know if our kids know what we are exactly as a team yet, and we’re still feeling our way around that.”
It became clear throughout the Cadets’ 3-2 win Wednesday over Benilde St. Margaret’s, ranked No. 9 in the Class 2A state coaches’ poll, that physicality, grit and energy are going to be things that this team values.
Although Eigner said his team was “enigmatic” in the first period — they trailed 1-0 after the first (due to a goal from Benilde-St. Margaret’s Jonny Woodford) — he used a fan’s perspective to get a point across.
St. Thomas Academy went on the road to the St. Louis Park Recreation Center on Wednesday and came away with a 3-2 victory over Benilde-St. Margaret’s.
After a slow start from both teams, the Red Knights, ranked No. 9 in the Class 2A state coaches’ poll, opened the scoring late in the first period on a goal from Jonny Woodford, who put away a rebound off a blue-line shot from Nate Schweitzer.
The Cadets (4-2-0, 0-0-0) looked like a more energized team after the first intermission, as they scored 49 seconds in the second period. Tyler Grahme beat Benilde-St. Margaret’s goalie Carson Limesand after two one-time, cross-ice passes from Max Nagel and Jarod Wright.
Limesand finished with 28 saves.
Will Soderling gave the Cadets the lead midway through the second period, burying a rebound off a Tommy Deverell shot. Connor O’Brien scored the eventual game-winner midway through the third to make it a 3-1 Cadets’ lead. Hallum and Wright each picked up their second assists on the game-winning goal.
Adam Marshall scored with 5:30 left in regulation for the Red Knights (3-2-1, 0-0-0) to make it interesting, but the Cadets absorbed the late pressure and escaped with a victory.
St. Thomas Academy goalie Tommy Aitken stopped 35 shots.
The MN Hockey Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.