The Varsity Raiders took Fourth place in the Schwan Cup Bronze Division over the Holiday, however they gave a solid challenge to the Champions Champlin Park.
The Varisty Raiders shutout Owatonna 3-0 in their first game on goals by Vogel from Scofield, Yetzer from Docken and Docken unassisted. Tjaden earned the shutout with 18 shots.
Coming up against the eventual Champions Champlin Park in their second game, the Raiders scored first on a goal by Knight from Vogel. However, the Rebels reacted with a hard charge and scored three goals in five minutes, putting the Raiders in a hole that proved too difficult to battle back from against a tough Rebel defense. Scoring his first varsity goal, Legvold (from Morsching and Frieirmuth) brought the Raiders within one. With time running out and a 6-on-4 power play the Raiders could not overcome, losing to the rebels 2-4. Tjaden took 29 shots in the game, going 1-1 for the tournament.
In the Third Place game it was evident that the Raiders left it all on the ice the night before, as battlle with the Orono Spartans appeared less than par for the varsity squad. With the only goal scored unassisted by Scofield in the first period, the team mustered 14 shots for the game, against 29 shots by the Spartans with Finger in the net. Eventually losing the game 1-3, the Raiders settled for Fourth Place in the Tournament.
In talking with Coach Bryce Barry "It was a good experience for the boy’s to play in a tournament over the holiday break to end our first half of the season. The Schwan’s is a great experience to play 3 games in 3 days and playing some better competition that what we are used to. For the coaching staff this tournament told us a lot about our team, the three things we need to get better at is; first we need to go hard and play with intense effort to have success, second is we need to be better mental prepared so we can have better success in the first periods of games, third is we need our players to understand and fulfill their roles within our system and as a unit of 5.
Looking back at the three games in the tournament after going 1-2 and finishing 4th place I hope our players learned how good of team they can be when they play hard, play together and play within our systems. One thing was constant all tournament and that was we did not play well in the first period. Our first game against Owatonna we struggled in the first against a team we should have dominated all 3 periods, we came out with a 3-0 victory but we didn’t play our best hockey. The second game was against Champlin Park, which was going to be one of our toughest test this season. Again we struggled in the first period and gave up 3 goals, but we played our best hockey of the season in the 2nd and 3rd. I don’t think that I have seen us play as a team, move the puck so well and battle so hard for 50/50 pucks. It was a great 2nd and 3rd period to watch but our first period kept the boys from playing at the Xcel. The last game against Orono we were a totally different team because we were not mentally prepared to play. The coaching staff could see this one coming because our players were more concerned with watching Lakeville South at rink #4 instead of getting ready to play their own game, in fact our players didn’t start getting ready until 7:15PM and we had to be on the ice at 7:30PM. When it was time to take the ice we still had players not ready and coming out on the ice for warm ups not as a team. It is impossible for any athlete to reach their full potential if they are not mentally prepared and we were not mentally ready for this game.
We gave up a goal 12 seconds in the first period, Scofield answered back but that was the end of our offense for the night. We had a lot of PP chances in the 3rd but just couldn’t get anything going. In the coaching staff’s mind it was a bad way to end the tournament. We are looking forward to start the new year of fresh with some new coaching struggles to get this team ready to play, because as we showed in the Champlin Park game this team has the ability to go to the section final if ALL our players are willing to make the commitment."