STMA’s Connor Spetz (20) skates the puck into the Cooper zone. The Knights won the game 5-2. (Photo by Jake Schroer)
The Knights hockey team sandwiched the Thanksgiving holiday between a pair of games during the week. Game one saw STMA take on Robbinsdale/Cooper. The Knights started quickly during this game, as sophomore forward Cam Fuerstenberg scored just two and a half minutes into the opening period, assisted by Mitch Bourgerie.
Later in the first, Robbinsdale/Cooper answered when senior forward Hayden Gautsche scored. Tyler Hayes answered back, assisted by Connor Spetz and Bourgerie. In the second period, the Knights took advantage of a tripping penalty on Nathan Linderholm.
After assisting on STMA’s first two goals, Bourgerie scored on the power play, and the Knights led 3-1. Fuerstenberg and Hayes picked up the assists. The Knights added a pair of goals in the period.
The third period saw several power play situations for RDC, but the Knights managed to hold them to one goal during the period for a final score of 5-2.
Once more, the Knights played without head coach Johnson. Assistant coach Dan Miller said that it always helps to get a couple goals on the board right away. Miller felt that getting a win was a good thing for the team, which consists of a lot of sophomores and freshmen.
“The first win under their belt always helps build a little bit of confidence in your team, and a young squad needs that confidence,” he said.
Miller called Armstrong, the next STMA opponent, Cooper’s “big brother.” He expected a tough battle out of the Falcons on Saturday. The Falcons also have a young team, he said.
“It’s gonna be interesting how the inexperience of both teams plays into it.”
The Knights came back to the New Hope Arena on Saturday to take on the Armstrong Falcons. Armstrong scored first on a goal by Cole Goergen. Connor Spetz answered for the Knights with a short-handed goal. Armstrong scored again courtesy of Thomas Barber.
Halfway through the second period, Spetz scored again to tie the game at 2-2. In the third, Cory Gilbert and Nick Holsher scored to build a two goal lead for the Falcons. With about 39 seconds left in the game, Logan Nelson scored on an assist from Spetz, to cut the lead in half.
The Knights pulled their goalie for the man advantage, but could not muster many chances as the time ticked away. Armstrong won by a final score of 4-3.
Coach Johnson, who returned to the team after dealing with a personal matter, said his team played well but just could not seem to be able to get the lead. He singled out Spetz for putting the team on his back and playing very well. Johnson said more experience should help his young team.