The members of No. 3-ranked Wayzata’s third line will be the first to tell you their job this year hasn’t been to score goals – even if they’d like to.
Rather than focusing all their efforts on offense, linemates Jahlen Wahl, Chase Heising and Chase Haller admit that they’re supposed to play solid defense, be physical, and not get scored on.
In the Trojan’s 6-2 victory over Bloomington Jefferson (6-2-0) on Thursday, Dec. 27, at the St. Louis Park Rec Center in St. Louis Park, Wahl and company broke their mold and finished with five points between them in a scoring explosion.
Wayzata coach Pat O’Leary had no issue with them bucking any ‘checking line’ constraints for the Trojans (8-1-0). No surprise there.
“I think a lot of times when we’re the away team, teams try to match up their ‘ones’ versus those guys and that’s ok for us because we think they can play defense and offense at the same time,” O’Leary said after the game. “They played great today for us and scored a couple huge goals.”
Coming into the game, the line had only four points with two goals and two assists in eight games. With three goals and two assists they easily doubled their scoring output Thursday and made it look easy.
They had good speed and effort, especially the duo of Heising and Wahl whose multiple two-on-one chances and shot output were noticeable. This is nothing too far-fetched according to Wahl, but getting some puck luck and finishing opportunities was novel.
In the third period and holding a 4-2 lead, Wahl got the luckiest bounce of the game. On an odd-man rush with Heising, he chose to look over and pass to his linemate. Reading it the whole way, the Jaguars’ defenseman swung his stick and got a piece of the puck, deflecting it backwards and over the shoulder of his own goaltender Grant Martens.
“It’s a huge relief,” Wahl said about the friendly bounces. “We’ve been getting a lot of chances and they haven’t really been going our way so it’s good to finally get them. “
Since Wahl and Hallen are seniors and Heising is a junior, O’Leary was thankful for their contributions that don’t show up on the scoreboard. Experience in big games and holiday tournaments, leadership, and work ethic stood out to the coach. When they do score goals however, it’s a huge luxury.
“If you’re not on the power play you just don’t get a lot of points and that’s just the reality of it so if we can score five-on-five goals then we’re tough to beat.” he said. “You take a little pressure off that top line and they don’t think they have to go and score goals every time, they can actually make plays and do the things that they’re supposed to do defensively as well.”
Heising was equally thankful for a solid game from his line.
“We’ve been struggling for the beginning of the season but this game we kept our head up tried to keep confidence with us,” Heising said. “Kept playing hard and they started to fall in for us today.”
Senior Jalen Wahl scored twice and junior Chase Heising netted one as No. 3-ranked Wayzata picked up five points from its third line to knock off Bloomington Jefferson 6-2 on Thursday, Dec. 27, at the St. Louis Park Rec Center in St. Louis Park.
The Jaguars (6-2-0) got off to an early start when senior Tony Roisum scored on a two-on-one just 27 seconds into the game, but the Trojans (8-1-0) picked it up from there, leading 2-1 after the first period and never giving up the lead again.
Wayzata benefitted from many penalties, scoring twice with the man-advantage in the first game of the Sports Authority Holiday Classic.
Wahl picked up his second goal of the game with a weird and lucky bounce.
Moving down the wing on a two-on-one, he passed the puck towards his linemate Heising but a Jaguar defender swung his stick, batting it into the upper-corner of the goal. The score put the Trojans up 5-2 in the third and it was Wahl’s second goal of the period.
Maxwell Zimmer, Nate Dingmann, and Alec Hemenway also scored for the Trojans and senior goaltender Aaron Dingmann stopped 25 of 27 shots in a good effort.
Bloomington Jefferson goaltender Grant Martens struggled, letting in some soft goals and stopping just 22 of 28 shots.
1. Jalen Wahl, Wayzata
The beneficiary of some puck luck, Wahl scored twice and tacked on an assist for a three point game. Considering he had only two points coming into the game (one goal, one assist) it’s a pretty strong showing. His line tormented the Jaguars Thursday.
2. Chase Heising, Wayzata
Between him and Wahl, the Trojan third line got plenty of ice time Thursday as they pestered the Jaguars and scored some goals in the process. Heising scored a goal and had an assist, bringing his season totals to three points (two goals, one assist).
3. Aaron Dingmann, Wayzata
Dingmann continued his streak as one of the better goaltenders in the state. He stopped 25 of 27 shots and now has a 6-1 record and has only allowed 1.12 goals per game. He has turned away 94.3 percent of all shots faced this year.