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Duluth Denfeld Heritage Classic

By Lauren Davis, 01/06/09, 8:51AM CST


Over the winter break, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, December 29-30-31, the Mound-Westonka Boy’s Hockey team traveled to Duluth for the 2008 Duluth Denfeld Hunter Heritage Classic.  On Monday, December 31, the White Hawks began the round-robin tournament against Park High School of Cottage Grove.  The White Hawks took a 1-0 lead half way through the first period, when Riley Horgan fought for control of the puck behind the Park net, circled around to the front of the net, used the defenseman for a screen, and fired the puck under the goalie’s pads. 


The White Hawks made it 2-0 just 5 minutes into the second period, when Horgan took the puck all the way up the ice, drove to the net, pulled the goalie out with a nice fake, and stuffed the puck into the near side for his second unassisted goal.  With 6 minutes left in the second period, the White Hawks made it 3-0, when Kirby Horgan took the puck on the side and got it to his brother Riley in the middle, and Riley danced between 2 defenders, spun around in front of the goalie, and slid a pass to Colin Mayer on the edge of the net, and Mayer punched it in.  The White Hawk lead looked safe, but Park came back with 2 quick goals in the next minute, and put pressure on the White Hawk net until the end of the period.


Just over 1 minute into the 3rd period, Park tied the game at 3-3, but the White Hawks came back just a minute later to take a 4-3 lead, with Cody Anderson controlling the puck behind the net and hitting Josh Bingham with a perfect pass right in front, and Bingham stuffed it past the Park goalie.  Another minute later, the White Hawks made it 5-3, when Riley Horgan’s hard shot was saved and came back out to him. Horgan slid it across to Mayer, and when the goalie dove to save his shot, Derek Swanson was there to slam home the rebound.  With 6 minutes left in the game, Swanson brought the puck across the blue line and to the net, sliding it over to Riley Horgan, who was breaking to the net, at the last second, and Horgan slid it under the goalie for his hat trick.  The White Hawks ended the scoring in the last minute when Colby Kratch moved the puck up to Nick Kuehl, and Kuehl took it into the offensive corner.  He hit Riley Williams in front with a nice pass, and Williams made a couple of nice stick-handling moves before tucking the puck past the goalie, for a final 7-3 White Hawk win.  In net, senior Dan Swanson had another strong game, with 43 saves on the night.


On Tuesday, December 30, the White Hawks matched up in the tournament against our neighboring Delano Tigers.  As expected, this game was very evenly played from the outset.  The White Hawks drew first blood 10 minutes into the game, when Nick Kuehl took the puck out of the defensive corner, and sent it to Colin Mayer at the White Hawk blue line.  Mayer  wove up the middle of the ice and curved to the right side and hit the near upper corner of the net for a 1-0 White Hawk led.  Delano tied the game less than a minute latter, and the first period ended in a 1-1 tie.  The White Hawks made it 2-1 on a power play in the first minute of the second period, when Nick Kuehl took a hard wrist shot that was saved, but when the puck popped into the air, Colby Kratch knocked it down and knocked it in.  The White Hawks added a 3rd goal on another power play, when Kuehl passed to Riley Horgan circling behind the net, and Horgan connected with Mayer coming into the center slot, and Mayer put a bullet in the upper part of the net.  Delano closed the gap to 3-2, but the White Hawks added two more in the second, the first on a mirror play of the previous goal, when Tanner Botts, working in the corner, got the puck to Mayer behind the net, and Mayer found Riley Horgan moving into the center slot and Horgan one-timed a bullet past the goalie. Then, with just 22 seconds left in the period, Ben Curti stole the puck in the Delano end, moved in alone, and backhanded a shot to the upper near side of the net for a 5-2 White Hawk lead. 


Delano closed to within 5-3 just 10 seconds in to the 3rd period, but the White Hawks shut them down the rest of the way, and added one more goal when Riley Horgan, once again controlling the puck behind the Delano net, found Nick Kuehl in the center slot, and Kuehl fired a wrist shot into the upper corner, for a final 6-3 White Hawk win. In net, junior Aaron Davis had 25 saves and recorded his first varsity win.  But the game was costly for the White Hawks, as junior Colin Mayer, the team’s second leading scorer, was boarded from behind in the second period, and had to leave the game with a broken arm.  


On Wednesday, December 31, The White Hawks had to face the host Duluth Denfeld Hunters, with both teams posting 2-0 records in the tournament.  Denfeld was a small but quick team, and they jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 3 minutes into the game with a wrap-around stuff-in.  Denfeld made it 2-0 on a power play goal, but the White Hawks closed the gap to 2-1 with a power play goal of their own with a minute left in the period, when Joey Graphenteen took a shot from the point that was partially deflected.  The puck bounced loose in front of the net, and Kirby Horgan was there to slam it in.  Halfway through the second period, Denfeld extended their lead to 3-1 on anther power play goal, and they stretched it to 4-1 on a slap shot to the far corner of the net.  The White Hawks fought hard in the 3rd period, and narrowed the lead to 4-2 during a 4 on 3 advantage, when Broc Couser took a shot from the point, and Nick Kuehl was in front of the net to slap in the loose rebound.  But the White Hawks could not get any closer, and ended the tournament with a 4-2 loss to the Hunters.   In net, senior Dan Swanson kept the White Hawks close, as the Hunters outshot them 32-13.