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Night of firsts

By Loren Nelson, MN Hockey Hub editor, 11/23/12, 6:15AM CST


Wayzata's youth movement begins with celebration-filled win over Maple Grove

Junior defenseman Chandler Lindstrand was one of four Wayzata players to score their first varsity career goals in Friday's 4-1 win over Maple Grove. Photo by Katherine Matthews

Freshman Max Zimmer scored a goal, then junior Chad Olson got one. Both were the first of their varsity careers. 

Pucks were being saved as mementos, Wayzata’s whacky student section was going bonkers and the Trojans were on their way to beating Maple Grove 4-1 on Friday, Nov. 23, in front of a huge Plymouth Ice Center crowd in the season opener for both teams.

All Chandler Lindstrand could do was watch. The junior defenseman, a varsity regular all last season, was called for a 5-minute checking from behind major late in the first period. That penalty automatically comes with a 10-minute misconduct.  

That’s 15 minutes in the box – almost a third of the game. High school periods only last 17 minutes.

“You are a little disappointed, but you just try to watch the game and get over it,” Lindstrand said about his alone time during the semifinal of Wayzata’s annual Turkey Trot tournament. “It happens sometimes.”

Maple Grove's Nate Erickson (18) takes a faceoff against Wayzata freshman Max Zimmer. Photo by Katherine Matthews

Not long after Lindstrand returned to the ice, he found himself with the puck and an interstate-wide lane to then net. He put his head down and all his weight into the shot. Lindstrand, it should be mentioned, did not score a goal all of last season despite logging heavy minutes. 

“He was on our second power play,” Wayzata coach Pat O’Leary said. “He was out there a lot on the power play, but he just didn’t get the opportunity to get a goal.” 

Lindstrand’s cannon shot beat Maple Grove goaltender John Danielson high. Then, another wild celebration. Another puck transformed into a keepsake.

“I was just trying to shoot it as hard as I could,” Lindstrand said. “I was just thinking, ‘I’m going to get all of this one. It’s going to go where it is going to go.’ It just found a corner and went in.”

Sophomore Matthew Freytag completed the scoring for Wayzata in the third period. Sticking with the night’s theme, it was Freytag’s first career goal.

The Trojans have a freshman and seven sophomores in their lineup. They also have six juniors, most of whom saw little or no varsity action last season. 

“The refs were like, ‘Geez, four new guys scoring?’ ” O’Leary said. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, well, we’re young.’ ”

Crimson have coach seeing red

Maple Grove junior defenseman Drake Thomsen gets some serious whip in his stick as he unloads a shot. Photo by Katherine Matthews

Maple Grove, much like Friday’s opponent in Wayzata, is a re-tooled team long on enthusiasm and short on practical experience.

Experience such as when to make a line change. Or, more specifically, when not to make a line change.
The Crimson’s fatal error came in the second period when all five of their skaters headed to the box after the puck had been dumped into the Wayzata zone. Because Maple Grove’s bench was at the far end of the rink in comparison to its goal, the untimely line change gave the alert Trojans a 3-on-0 breakaway.
Chad Olson scored on a fancy bit of dipsy-doodling, Wayzata led 3-1 and the Crimson never recovered.
“I’m not sure what happened,” Maple Grove coach Gary Stefano said. “All I know is we had five reds coming to the bench. The next thing you know it’s 3-on-0 white. If they are going to score, make them earn it.”
Maple Grove, which reached the state Class 2A tournament for the first time in school history last season, lost its top goaltender, it’s top six scorers and top two defensemen from last season.
The Crimson have five sophomores and seven juniors on their roster.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Stefano said. “First game of the year. Now we’ve got that out of the way.”

Statistics, Summary

Game Recap

Pucks were being stashed on the Wayzata bench with regularity in the Trojans’ 4-1 victory over Maple Grove on Friday, Nov. 23, during the semifinals of the Wayzata Turkey Trot tournament, as all four goals were marked career firsts.
Freshman Max Zimmer, junior Chad Olson, junior Chandler Lindstrand and sophomore Matthew Freytag each scored the first goal of their varsity career and were given the puck they scored with as mementos.
Olson scored on a breakaway in the second period after Wayzata caught Maple Grove on an ill-timed line change. Olson pulled the puck around the would-be pokecheck of Crimson goaltender John Danielson and popped the puck into an open net.
Lindstrand, a defenseman who logged regular ice time last season, blasted a slapshot past Danielson during a power play as Wayzata took a 3-1 lead.
Joe Norenberg, a sophomore, scored the lone Maple Grove goal, the first of his high school career.
Maple Grove fired 11 shots on Wayzata senior goaltender Aaron Dingman in the first period but the Crimson managed just a combined six in the final two periods. Danielson made 22 saves.
Wayzata was called for two 5-minute major penalties and Maple Grove had one. Wayzaa was 2-for-6 on the power play; Maple Grove went 0-for-3.

Three Stars

Olson, a junior, whipped the wild Trojans student section into a frenzy when he scored a highlight-clip worthy goal in the second period, pulling the puck around poke-checking Maple Grove goaltender John Danielson and firing it into an open net.
The junior defenseman’s first career goal was a beauty, as he found some open ice in the high slot and unloaded a cannon that Danielson had no chance of stopping.
The sophmore's goal tied the game at 1 in the first period and kept things interesting until Wayzata slowly started pulling away.

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