Burnsville's Jake Maxson crashes into Prior Lake's Jeff Pieper. Photo by Helen Nelson
“It’s the battle of Savage,” Maxson said about the community that is divided by the Prior Lake and Burnsville school districts. “A lot of us know each other from other sports.
“We know each other through school and other friends, so yeah, it has become a huge rivalry for us.”
The Blaze (12-8-1) have had difficulty time stringing together victories since reeling off five straight wins in early to mid-December. The second dominating win over the Lakers (Burnsville beat Prior Lake 8-3 on Dec. 22) might just kick start the Blaze as they close out the regular season.
For sure, the victory will give Burnsville a higher seed than Prior Lake (13-7-0) in a few weeks when the playoff brackets are built.
“It’s been tough finding a groove,” Maxson said. “We’ll have a couple of great games, and then we’ll have a bad game. It’s been tough for us to stay consistent, and that’s our big motto right now to stay consistent.
“Hopefully we can build off this big win.”
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Maxson threaded a low shot through heavy traffic in the second period to put the Blaze ahead 4-2. It could hardly be described as a pretty goal.
Maxson hit the rewind button in the third when he threaded another shot on goal. Only this time Kauth got a piece of the puck before it found the back of the net.
“Playing simple,” Maxson said. “One of the biggest problems we’ve had is not playing smart, not doing the things the coaches tell us to do every day at practice. Today I think playing simple helped out a lot.
“We established a forecheck and got a lot of shots on net.”