Down 1-0 to a conference rival in front of a packed crowd on home ice, the message in the Cretin-Derham Hall locker room at the second intermission was simple.
“We were one shot away from the roof blowing up,” said Raiders coach Matt Funk.
That one shot came at the end of a power play a little over 3 minutes into the third period when senior Matthew Gleason scored off the rush to make it 1-1 against White Bear Lake, ranked No. 6 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll.
“We knew that the energy in here was ready,” Funk said. “(Gleason) puts the guys on his back and the whole group feeds off it.”
It ended up being the goal that opened the floodgates in the final period, as the No. 7-2A Raiders scored three more times to notch a 4-1 victory Tuesday over their Suburban East Conference foe at Highland Ice Arena.
Cretin-Derham Hall didn’t let a bunch of penalties in the first period or a one-goal deficit headed into the third stop it.
The Raiders, ranked No. 7 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll, responded with a bevy of third-period goals to grab a 4-1 victory over No. 6-2A White Bear Lake in a battle of Suburban East Conference squads Tuesday in front of a packed house at Highland Ice Arena in St. Paul.
Senior Matthew Gleason, the state’s top goal scorer, recorded his 32nd goal of the season just 1 minute, 29 seconds into the third period to tie the game at 1 apiece. Freshman Jake Fisher gave the Raiders (16-3-1, 13-0-0) the lead with just under 10 minutes to play before senior Jack Nei added insurance on the power play with about 6 minutes left in regulation. An empty-netter from Gleason sealed the win.
White Bear Lake (13-4-1, 11-3-0) senior Billy Rose gave the Bears a 1-0 lead 1 minute, 10 seconds into the second period.
The Raiders are riding a five-game winning streak and nine-game unbeaten streak. The Bears, meanwhile, have lost three of their last six contests.
The MN Hockey Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.