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Spartans Down Redhawks 6-2

By Dicky Dunn, 02/04/09, 11:55AM CST



The St. Paul Academy and Summit School/Mounds Park Academy boys hockey squad defeated Minnehaha Academy 6-2 on Tuesday evening at Drake Arena, earning the Spartans a sweep of the season series against their rivals from across the Ford Bridge, thus guaranteeing the first winning season for SPA in 15 years.

The Spartans had to battle back from a sluggish first period, which ended with Minnehaha in the lead on the strength of Peter Knutson's shorthanded goal at 9:36.  Junior wing Wyatt Wenzel evened the game up just 20 seconds into the second period with a power-play goal which seemed to light a fire under the Academy boys.  Junior defenseman James Trevathan scored at 9:21 of the period, and the Spartans ended the period with a 2-1 lead.

The third period began much like the second, as Wyatt Wenzel again scored in the first minute of play, putting the Spartans up by two.  Special teams marked the rest of the final stanza, as Wenzel and fellow junior wing John Tocho netted short-handed goals, to put the Academy up by four until Knutson scored again for Minnehaha, this time with a five on three advantage, closing the Spartan lead to three.  Senior wing Mike Falvey put the game on ice, however, scoring a power-play goal with about 90 seconds left on the clock.

Wenzel finished the game with the hat trick, and added an assist on Falvey's goal.  Senior defenseman Jacob Rice assisted on three goals, and senior Goaltender Steven Estep made 26 saves to earn his ninth win of the season.

Next up for the Spartans is new conference rival St. Paul Johnson on Saturday at 3:00PM at Drake Arena on the St. Paul Academy Randolph campus, as the Academy tries to keep its hold on third place in the Tri-Metro.  Minnehaha will host St. Paul Como Park on Thursday evening, and Faribault on Saturday afternoon.