Benilde-St. Margaret's forward Dan Labosky (27) tries to get a shot off on Centennial goalie Brian Anderson, as a host of Cougars come to his defense. Photo by Adam Crane
Overtime games are supposed to produce the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
When Jake O'Borsky scored 1 minute, 19 seconds into overtime to propel Benilde-St. Margaret's to a 4-3 win against Centennial in the Holiday Hockey Classic at the St. Louis Park Rec Center, there was not a whole lot of joy and jubilation.
"Don't get me wrong, I am happy we won the game, but not with the way we played," Red Knights coach Ken Pauly said. "Centennial mucked it up, but in a good way for them, and we played their game and not ours."
On the other hand, Centennial had to take a loss after O'Borsky's controversial game-winner.
He took the puck wide to the left, cut in and got a shot off on Cougars goalie Brian Anderson.
It appeared to hit his mask and trickle behind him.
Immediately, there was a whistle and after a pause, the puck finally made it's way into the net, which signaled a goal call from the referees and the game was over.
In disbelief, the Cougars did not leave the bench and waited for an explanation.
It was not the one Centennial coach Ritch Menne wanted and after the game, he spoke with the officials, and got another answer he did not care for either.
"He told me that he saw the puck and blew the whistle because he did not want guys crashing to the net hard," Menne said of the referee's post game explanation. "He was right in front of our bench and we could not see the puck, so I don't know how he saw it either."
Even in defeat, abide controversial, Centennial played the game it needed to against the Red Knights, even if it was outshot 43-26.
Three of the four Benilde-St. Margaret's goals came on the power play, but those all happened in the first and early parts of the second period.
After, the Cougars locked down on the penalty kill, only giving up shots from the outside and on even strength, they were right there with the Red Knights.
"I thought five-on-five we played great," Menne said. "We were physical with them and were able to stick with them.
"Sure, we gave up three power play goals, but a team like Benilde can do that to you."
Throughout the game, the Red Knights were able to generate a high number of shots, but there were stages where they had a hard time getting anything going against Centennial.
Instead of using its skill of speed and play-making abilities, Benilde-St. Margaret's fell into the attack of the Cougars, grinding out the game with physical play on all areas of the ice.
"I didn't like how we started to play like them," Pauly said. "I know they don't want to get into a track meet with us and they are going to do everything they can to not allow that, but I didn't think we put them in a position to force that to happen.
"That is also a credit to Centennial, because they played well tonight."
It was just one of those nights where no coach, or team left the St. Louis Rec Center happy.
Pauly and the Red Knights were disappointed in the effort and plan of attack against Centennial, while Menne and the Cougars leave in defeat, but with more questions about why the last play was called a goal.
"He (the referee) had some time to think about an answer and gave one that I really don't agree with," Menne said. "We are going to have to move on and get ready to play a good Eden Prairie team that is coming off an overtime loss as well."
Benilde-St. Margaret's will take on Moorhead in the semifinals and Pauly expects a similar style of play from the Spuds.
"I'm excited that we are playing Moorhead, happy we are doing so in the winner's bracket, too," he said. "They like to play close to what Centennial does, so we are going to have to get back to playing our game or else we won't come out on top like we were able to do tonight."
Jake O'Borsky scored 1 minute, 19 seconds into the overtime period to give Benilde-St. Margaret's a 4-3 win against Centennial in the Holiday Hockey Classic at the St. Louis Park Rec Center.
Benilde-St. Margaret's could never pull away from Centennial, only being able to have a one-goal lead through most of the game.
Jake Horton struck first with a power-play goal in the first period.
Nick Larsen answered with a power-play goal of his own for Centennial to tie the game at 1-1.
In the second period, Horton got his second goal of the game, again on the power play, on a shot from the left circle.
Benilde-St. Margaret's went on the power play again, but the Cougars Adam Lovick was able get free and score on a breakaway to tie the game at 2-2.
Less than a minute later, Christian Horn scored another power-play goal for the Red Knights, giving them three on the night.
Four minutes, 22 seconds into the third period, Hans Gorowsky tied the game for Centennial.
Despite a huge rush by Benilde-St. Margaret's, the score stayed tied until O'Borsky's overtime goal.
With the win, the Red Knights will play Moorhead in the semifinals on Thursday, Dec. 29 at the St. Louis Park Rec Center.
The Cougars will have to get up fast, because they will take on Eden Prairie on Thursday, Dec. 29 at the St. Louis Rec Center.
Benilde-St. Margaret's was led by Jake Horton, who scored two power-play goals.
Brian Anderson made 39 saves for Centennial on a total of 43 shots from the Red Knights.
Check back later for a revised game recap.
1. Jake Horton, Benilde-St. Margaret's
Horton showed off his offensive ability from the blue line, stepping in with two power-pay goals, both from the left circle on one-timers. Those goals proved to be the difference, as the Red Knights needed each of them to beat Centennial.
2. Jake O'Borsky, Benilde-St. Margaret's
His overtime goal gave the Red Knights a hard-fought, tough win against Centennial and put to rest any chance of an upset. O'Borsky's shot was initially stopped and the referee blew the whistle before the puck crossed the line, but was counted nonetheless.
3. Brian Anderson, Centennial
In a game where he faced 43 shots, Anderson stood his ground with 39 saves and were of the high quality variety. He kept the Cougars in the game and did not allow any cheap goals as Benilde-St. Margaret's kept an abundance of pressure on constantly throughout the game.