Joey Lau scored twice in a three-goal third period for Blaine. Photo by Helen Nelson
Lau flashed some MVP form on Saturday, slamming home a shot on a power play during the opening minute of the third period then scoring the winner in the final minute.
A gifted stickhandler with unmatched quickness, Lau also has a nose for the net. On the game winner, he was stationed just outside the crease the right of the goal when the puck popped free.
“I just got rebound,” Lau said. “There was no way I could miss it. I just put it in a wide open net.”
Lau said he and fellow sophomore Tyler Cline, who stands 5-6 and weighs 155 pounds, have been linemates since they were Pee Wees. They have recently been joined by Coon Rapids transfer Joe Awaijane, and the line was buzzing in the Huskies’ zone all night.
“They are playing with so much more confidence now,” Blaine senior goaltender Nick Malvin said about Cline and Lau, who rank second and third on the Bengals in scoring. “They are flying. They are starting to feed off each other.
“They know what the other one is going to do, and it is helping us out big here at the end of the season.”
Just a week ago Blaine was coming off a 9-1 thumping against top-ranked Duluth East. That loss was the fourth in five games for the Bengals (15-8-0).
Now, with Saturday’s win over the Huskies, Blaine has won three straight. The Bengals started their week with a 5-2 road win over No. 7-ranked Moorhead. Blaine also beat Anoka 4-1 on Thursday.
“I usually get this feeling every year but I’ve been in a panic because usually I get it earlier,” said Aus, who has guided the Bengals to the state tournament for each of the past six years. “On the ride home from Moorhead I got that same kind of anticipation to get going (into the playoffs).”