Max Woodis (11) celebrates his first career goal with teammates Jack Kelly (3), Trevor Zins (7), and Andrew Benson (10). (Photo by Jake Schroer)
Senior Night at the Albertville Arena turned into a flurry of activity for several Knights players in a 15-0 victory over North Branch.
The Knights (13-11-1) grabbed a quick 1-0 lead 1:24 into the game on a goal by Tucker Bjorlin (Connor Greenwood, Logan Nelson). Seven minutes later, Bjorlin scored again (Nelson, Greenwood).
Casey Crandall scored his first career goal to make it 3-0 ten minutes into the opening period (Matt Kisch, Connor Spetz). Shortly thereafter, Cam Fuerstenberg made it 4-0 (Brett Marshall, Mitch Bourgerie). Kevin McDonald capped off a five goal first period (Max Woodis).
The second period saw STMA double up the first period with ten goals and triple up the lead from 5-0 to 15-0. Marshall scored (Kisch), followed by two Tyler Hayes goals (First: Connor Smith, second: Kisch). Greenwood found the back of the net (Tucker Bjorlin), and Marshall Bjorlin scored his first career goal (Reckard, Kisch).
Later in the period, one STMA senior stole the show. Max Woodis, who picked up an assist earlier, scored his first career goal to make it 11-0 Knights. Bourgerie scored after that (Hayes, Spetz), and Cody Reckard followed him.
After that, it became the Woodis show, as he scored the final two goals of the night for a hat trick. The Knights played out the third period on running time for the 15-0 victory. One first nearly overshadowed by the rest was a first career shutout for Trent Olson. He stopped all 10 shots he faced. By comparison, North Branch’s Tyler Byrkit faced 66.
Coach Jerr Johnson said the goal of the night was to get Woodis a goal. The priority included playing him on several shifts to the point of tiring him out. After scoring his first, he scored two in one shift for the hat trick.
“It was awesome to see that happen.”
Johnson said Woodis worked so hard but never got in the goal column until that night. He was also pleased with the other firsts; a product of spread-out goal scoring. He said the third period was about respecting the opponent and the game of hockey.
“They’ve had a tough season all year, and you could tell they didn’t have a lot of energy going into that third period.” He was proud that his guys did the right thing and didn’t keep running up the score because they could.
The Knights played at Andover on Tuesday. The winner of that game plays the winner of Elk River-Cloquet/Esko/Carlton at Duluth’s Amsoil Arena on Thursday in the section semifinal.