When Hill-Murray senior forward Charlie Strobel was asked if it was hard to sell a defensive mindset to he and the other forwards on his team's roster, Pioneers coach Bill Lechner had a quick response.
"Don't tempt him," Lechner said with a sly smile.
Lechner need not worry, because Strobel and the rest of the Pioneers have adopted that focus of playing good defense, which was on display in a 4-1 victory over Maple Grove at Aldrich Arena on Tuesday night.
"Coach has instilled that mindset of good play in the D-zone first," Strobel said. "Defense leads to offense and defense wins games. As a leader, and a captain, if I can preach that mindset to everyone else I think we have a good chance to do great things this year."
Goaltender Remington Keopple stopped all but one of the 33 Maple Grove shots he faced as the Pioneers (14-6-2, 6-1-1) stonewalled a team that had scored 26 goals in its three previous contests combined.
Senior goaltender Remington Keopple made 32 saves to backstop Hill-Murray to a 4-1 victory over Maple Grove at Aldrich Arena Tuesday.
Senior Charlie Strobel netted two goals to lead the Pioneers (14-6-2, 6-1-1), while teammates Owen Quast, a senior, and sophomore Nate Hardy also scored to help power Hill-Murray to its fifth win in its last six games.
Senior Tyler Oakland scored the only goal for Maple Grove, ranked No. 10 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll. Junior Jack Wieneke finished with 23 saves for the Crimson (15-6-0, 9-2-0).
Strobel scored just 3:38 into the contest for the only goal of the first period, and Quast gave the Pioneers a 2-0 lead through two periods with his rebound goal off a shot by sophomore Axel Begley at 9:51 of the second.
Hardy's goal on a breakaway at 3:39 of the third period gave the Pioneers a 3-0 advantage, but Oakland scored 24 seconds later to spoil the shutout for Keopple.
Strobel then netted a short-handed goal at 13:41 to put the game out of reach.
The MN Hockey Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.