Former Minnesota North Stars defenseman Gordie Roberts has Elk River of to a 2-1-0 start in his first year as head coach. Photo by Paul Fletcher
First-year Elk River coach Gordie Roberts saw much that he liked in the Elks' 4-1 Northwest Suburban Conference victory over Andover on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Andover Community Center.
There was an abundance of offense -- four goals against Andover's Chase Perry, widely regarded as the state's top goaltender. Just as importantly was the defense -- the Elks held Andover to a combined 10 shots through the first two period and the Huskies failed to score on all five of their power-play opportunities.
"I think when you win as a team, it’s not just the guys that score the goals and get the assists,” said Roberts, a former NHL defenseman who played for the Minnesota North Stars. “I look at all players in their roles and what they do to help us, and it was definitely a great effort from four lines and six defensemen.”
Andover's Tyler Tomberlin, left, faces off against Elk River's Jacob Jaremko. Photo by Paul Fletcher
Elk River got on the board first, thanks to junior captain Andrew Zerban. The Elks had just finished killing a penalty when Zerban scored off an assist by Blake Hillman midway through the first period.
The Elks, who scored eight goals in their win over Coon Rapids on Thursday, carried their dominance into the second period. Jake Jaremko notched a short-handed goal to put Elk River up 2-0 9:36 into the period, and 63 seconds later Chase Springman jumped off the bench and caught a breakaway pass from Ben Johnson at the blue line to give Elk River a 3-0 lead.
But the teams would get an unexpected breather after a fight broke out near Elk River’s goal at the 14 minute mark, sending two players from each team to the showers early.
“It was a physical game,” Roberts said. “We were trying to just play real good defensively and play consistent.”
Andover's lone goal came 6:23 into the third when Nick Manney scored off assists from Tyler Tomberlin and Brady Barthold.
Sitting at the top of Northwest Suburban Conference with four points, Elk River improves to 2-1-0 and will host Holy Family Catholic on Tuesday night. Andover (1-3-0) will play Champlin Park on Thursday.