The Orono Spartans have finally found their stride! The Spartans have now
The Spartans began their winning streak against the Chanhassen Storm on Tuesday, December 16th at the Orono Ice Arena. In the first period, the Storm drew a penalty and the Spartans were on the power play. Senior Cole Goulet, in his first game back after suffering an ankle injury pre-season felt right at home on the power play. Senior Will LeNeave saw a lane, hit Goulet on the tape moving from the half
The second period brought even more excitement as the Spartans again on the man advantage when Senior Forward Will Dittrich found the netting for his first goal of the season. With Sophomore Mark Willson and Senior Trip Renard
The third period saw penalties from both the Spartans and the Storm, with the Storm taking advantage of a power play slipping one past Jonathan Flakne to bring the game 3-1. The storm had two 5 on 3 opportunities in the third period, but were unable to take advantage of the opportunity due to the Spartans aggressive killing system. The Storm pulled their goalie to try and get back in the game, but Renard stayed at home, jumped a lane and picked off a pass taking off down the ice and put one in the empty net to bring the game to 4-1. The game ended 4-1.
The Orono Spartans travelled to New Prague on Thursday, December 18th to play the number 7 ranked Trojans. The Spartans came out firing on all cylinders. You could feel the energy rippling off the ice despite not having home ice advantage. The first period brought plenty of back and forth, but the Spartans were able to keep it 0-0 going into the second period. Goalie Jonathan Flakne was a beast stopping anything coming his way. The second period brought more of the same. The Trojans got a goal, but it was waved off due to a delayed penalty against New Prague. Orono was able to keep the Trojan’s offense shut down despite being outshot 3:4. The second period remained scoreless.
The third period the Spartans knew what they had to do and within two minutes of the 3rd period the Spartans got a breakaway. Renard hit Senior Forward Alex Sellers and Dittrich was right with him with only one Trojan defender to beat.
Saturday, December 20th the Spartans returned to their home ice to play Bloomington Kennedy. The first period was marred with penalties from both squads, but despite that, Orono was able to post two goals
The second period again brought a slew of penalties, but Kinsel wasn’t going to stop at just one goal and was able to get another one in from Sophomore Nick Anderson and Goulet. Again the Eagles outshot the Spartans during the second period. Goalie Jon Flakne maintained his composure despite seeing a barrage of shots and was able to keep the game 3-0 heading into the third period.
The third period saw even more questionable penalties from the Eagles and the Spartans were able to take advantage of their power play and Kinsel again was able to find the back of the net with an assist from LeNeave. Kinsel came away with his first Varsity hat trick and helped the Spartans to a 4-0 win over the Eagles. When asked about this hat trick, “It felt great. The first 3 of year took 7 games, but I need to give all my credit to all my teammates. None of my goals would have been possible without them.”
The Orono Spartans are back to their winning ways and ready for what is next. Despite still being out key players Cody Limesand, Joey Luedtke and David McCuskey, the Spartans are holding onto a winning streak and don’t plan to stop any time soon. The Spartans next game is Monday, December 29th against Hopkins in the opening round of the Schwan Cup in Blaine.
Seniors Cole Goulet, Logan Kinsel and Will LeNeave and sophomore Alex Dau celebrate Goulet's first goal Photo Credit: Cindy Flakne
Goaltender Jonathan Flakne holds the New Prague Trojans at bay for his first shut out Photo Credit: Cindy Flakne