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'Tech hockey' makes some noise

By Loren Nelson, Editor, 12/09/10, 11:14AM CST


Senior Brandon Reinholz's quick-strike goals help Tigers topple Brainerd

Senior Jobe Peterson (26) had two assists in St. Cloud Tech's 4-1 victory over Brainerd. Photo by Helen Nelson

Jobe Peterson’s left eye didn’t look so good.

His smile? That was working just fine.

St. Cloud Tech had just defeated Brainerd in showdown of top Central Lakes Conference and Section 8AA teams. As one look at Peterson can attest, playing hard-hitting, gritty Brainerd is never an easy proposition.

Which makes beating the Warriors, bumps and bruises and scratches and scrapes and all, that much sweeter.

“We want to make a name for our team,” Peterson said after Tech improved to (2-1-0) by handing the Warriors (3-1-0) their first loss of the season. “We haven’t really done much over the past few years, and we want to make a name for Tech hockey. “

Tech hockey, with Peterson and lifetime linemate Brandon Reinholz buzzing opposing defenses, seemingly is in good hands.

It was Reinholz who took the game by its throat, scoring twice in less than a minute early in the second period to break open a scoreless game.

Brandon Reinholz scored twice in less than a minute during the second period for St. Cloud Tech in its 4-1 win over Brainerd. Photo by Helen Nelson

He scored his first goal Joe Mauer style, batting a rebound out of midair and ripping it past Warriors goaltender Al Patten. After taking a quick breather on the bench, Reinholz was at it again, this time wrapping the puck into the net after grabbing a rebound from behind the goal. His goals came in a span of 56 seconds.

“The shot came from the point, and the rebound just came out, just out of mid air kind of,” Reinholz said about his first goal. “It was one of those you practice on in practice just for the fun of it.”

Speaking of fun, Reinholz and Peterson said they enjoyed the challenge of matching up against Brainerd’s high-scoring line of Mitch McLain, Josh Archibald and Matt Pohlkamp.

“We knew they were going to be their top guys,” Reinholz said. “And if we could shut them down we could shut the rest of them down. We worked on a having a good defensive game and we played that strong,  and we pounded them with our offense.

“And we had a pretty good power play tonight. So everything just clicked.”

While Brainerd’s top unit was held off the scoreboard, Peterson and Reinholz combined for four points.

Difficult day for the Archibald Family

Brainerd coach Jim Archibald learned Thursday morning that his father had died. Photo by Helen Nelson

Jim Archibald got the worst kind of phone call early Thursday morning.

The Brainerd coach was told that his father, Eldon, had passed away at age 82 from a heart attack.

Upon hearing the news, a series of thoughts raced through Archibald’s head. He contemplated hoping in a car and driving the 12 hours from Brainerd to his hometown of Craik, Saskatchewan (population 408).

Then Archibald thought about all the games he played as a kid, 60 or more every season. And every season, at every one of those games, Eldon Archibald was in attendance.

“That was in the back of my mind,” Archibald said about his father’s unwavering support. “He did it for me, so I needed to step up here and do it tonight.”

“Tonight” was the Warriors’ Thursday, Dec. 9, showdown with Central Lakes Conference and Section 8AA foe St. Cloud Tech at the National Hockey Center.

Archibald took his usual spot behind the bench because, he said, that’s what his father would have wanted him to do. Archibald coached the game because his son, Josh, is a standout senior forward for the Warriors.

Brainerd players wore red maple leaf stickers with the name Eldon on them on their helmets to pay tribute to Eldon Archibald, the father of Warriors coach Jim Archibald. Eldon Archibald died early Thursday morning. Photo by Helen Nelson

St. Cloud Tech broke open a scoreless game with two quick goals by star senior Brandon Reinholz in the second period en route to a 4-1 triumph. And although the victory gives the Tigers a jumpstart toward a potential conference title and higher seeding in the section playoffs, the importance of those scenarios was tempered by Archibald’s loss.

Hockey, on this night especially, was merely a game.

“You know, It was kind of funny because I didn’t say anything about dad passing away, but the guys, if you noticed, then all had little red maple leafs on their helmets with the name Eldon on it, which was my dad,” Archibald said. “Yeah, I think they were feeling the same thing I was. They could see it, and unfortunately we came out a little flat.”

Brainerd’s top line of Josh Archibald, Matt Pohlkamp and Mitch McLain came into the game having combined for 34 points in three games, one of he highest totals of any forward line in the state. They were held off the scoresheet against the Tigers.

“I can’t blame the kids,” said Jim Archibald, who plans on taking a flight to Saskatchewan early Friday morning, “because I know how I feel, and maybe they were feeling the same way.”

Quick Pic

St. Cloud Tech's Jobe Peterson is sent flying by Brainerd's Matt Pohlkamp. Photo by Helen Nelson

Statistics, Summary

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Game Recap

St. Cloud Tech senior Brandon Reinholz scored goals 57 seconds apart early in the second period to break open a scoreless game and lead the Tigers to a 4-1 triumph over previously unbeaten Brainerd on Thursday, Dec. 9, at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.

Ryan Heaton also scored twice for the Tigers (2-1-0) in the matchup of teams with aspirations of ending perennial northern powers Moorhead and Roseau’s domination of Section 8AA.

The game’s importance was minimized by some somber news for Brainerd coach Jim Archibald and his son, Josh, a senior forward. Jim Archibald’s father died of a heart attack early Thursday morning. Archibald said he was planning on flying to Saskatchewan on Friday morning to be with his family.

Jeffrey Grimsley scored midway through the third period to pull Brainerd (3-0-1) to within 2-1, but Heaton scored his first goal 12:11 into the period to give the Tigers a 3-1 advantage.

The third period devolved into a series of scrums and melees, with the Warriors instigating most of the extracurricular activities. There were 13 penalties called in the third period, including a game misconduct call on the Warriors' Mason Fussy for fighting.

Tech goaltender Al Patten made 21 saves while Brainerd’s Jared Stearns finished with 23.

Three Stars

1. Brandon Reinholz, St. Cloud Tech
A senior forward, Reinholz scored twice in less than a minute to break open a scoreless game in the second period. Reinholz batted the puck out of the air baseball style on his first goal, then executed an alert wraparound from behind the net for the second.

2. Jobe Peterson, St. Cloud Tech
A senior forward on the Tigers’ top line, Peterson created scoring chances from all over the ice, threw his body around relentlessly and factored into the scoring with two assists.

3. Aaron Rich, Brainerd
A junior who played at Duluth Marshall last season, Rich had two breakaway opportunities and several other good scoring chances as he was the most consistent of Brainerd’s forwards.

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