Hill-Murray goaltender Sam Illgen prepares for a breakaway attempt by White Bear Lake's Tyler Steffen. Photo by Loren Nelson
Hill-Murray freshman phenom and Minnesota-Duluth commit Joey Anderson sported a fat lip after Thursday's game against rival White Bear Lake.
But the injury wasn't from a Bears player -- it was from his own teammates mugging him after he knocked in the winning goal in overtime at Aldrich Arena, giving the Pioneers their fourth win in a row.
"The puck just popped out (from a faceoff), and we jump on those loose pucks," Anderson said. "That's what our team goes for: jump on mistakes. The two-on-one developed, I looked for a pass and got the shot off."
Hill-Murray jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a goal from junior Zach Mills on assists from eighth-grader Mikey Anderson, Joey's brother, and senior Tyler Funk 4 minutes, 15 seconds into the first period.
White Bear Lake junior Jake Wahlin struck back for the Bears, evening the score 1-1 with seven minutes and 40 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Senior Hunter Lovdokken and sophomore Brandon Dornfield picked up assists on the goal.
After the first intermission, Hill-Murray's Funk zipped one between the pipes 56 seconds into the second period, with Joey Anderson and Mills on the assist.
"Coming into the locker room after the first period, we were a little down on ourselves, but we were singing in the locker room, getting everyone going. We came out hot and found a way to bury it," Mills said.
Wahlin tied the game at 2-2 three minutes and 20 seconds into the second period on an unassisted goal, and that score would hold true into the second intermission.
Hill-Murray came out shooting early in the third period, this time opening up a 3-2 lead after just 21 seconds on the ice. Junior Davis Zarembinski slipped it by White Bear Lake goalie Chase Gorman, with help from seniors Dustin Krueger and Josh French.
But the Bears had scoring dreams of their own, tying the game and gaining a 4-3 lead on back-to-back goals just over a minute apart thanks to a major boarding penalty on Hill-Murray's Zarembinski.
White Bear Lake junior AJ Welch evened the scoring at 3-3 five minutes and five seconds into the third period on a power play with senior Jake Dittel on the assist, and junior Brady Anderson followed that up with another power play goal six minutes and 12 seconds into the period. Wahlin and junior Tyler Steffen assisted Brady Anderson's goal, which gave the Bears their first lead of the night at 4-3.
The Pioneers struck back nine minutes and 15 seconds into the third period, as senior captain Josh French buried a goal on a power play, with assists from Mills and senior Mitch Slattery.
Neither team had many good looks down the stretch and the score stood at 4-4 at the end of regulation.
It didn't take long for Hill-Murray to win it, scoring inside of the first minute for the third straight period, as Joey Anderson buried the puck for the win in overtime.
"The first minute and the last minute of a period are important. You have to set the tone and do those things. We try and emphasize that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't ... we were fortunate enough to be able to do it tonight," Hill-Murray head coach Bill Lechner said.
Both Mills and Lechner are impressed with their young forward Joey Anderson, saying he's grown-up both physically and mentally compared to last year.
"He's definitely gotten bigger and stronger, really fast," Mills said. "He committed to UMD and I think that really helped him with his confidence. Even though he's a young guy, he's a leader out there and he really helps us."