The MWHS boys hockey team played in the Granite City Hockey Classic tournament in St. Cloud Dec. 28-30th. The boys faced an always tough St Cloud Cathedral, Prairie Center (Long Prairie, Sauk Centre) and Detroit Lakes ending up with 2 wins on the week.
Against Cathedral our boys came out a little slow with the Crusaders taking it to the White Hawks in the early going. With the exception of a few odd man and partial breakouts most of the first period was controlled by Cathedral. The Crusaders opened the scoring early at the 1.27 mark beating MW goaltender Andy Seats on a screen shot from the left point. For the rest of the period Seats had several key saves keeping the White Hawks in the game.
The middle frame started out much like the First with Seats making three early period saves in the first 1 ½ minutes. MW tied the game at 7.14 on a Hunter Smith goal off a sharp angle rebound . The period was well played with end to end action and crisp passing by both teams. Cathedral scored at 15.46 on a shot that bounced over Seats shoulder for a 2-1 lead at the end of the 2nd.
The White Hawks tied the score early in the third on an Alex Bakke power play goal off a Hunter Smith rebound and took the lead at 8.10 off a Charlie Curti shot on a rush to the net from the right point. The last two minutes of the third Cathedral applied a lot of pressure to MW and, with the goalie pulled, tied the game with just 6.6 seconds left on a shot that slowly dribbled into the White Hawk net. The game winning goal came 1.20 into overtime for the Crusaders sending MW to a 4-3 OT loss.
The game with Prairie Centre was lopsided in the MW favor from the opening faceoff with a goal just 11 sec. into the game. Most of the opening period was played in the North Star zone with the White Hawks out shooting PC 22-4. The second period was more of the same with MW holding a 2-0 lead going into the third and out shooting the North Stars 32-7 by the end of the second. MW would score three times in the third on goals by Jack Brandstetter, Hunter Smith, and sophomore Nick Tschida. The Tschida goal was his first at the varsity level. By the end of the game MW had out shot PC 55-22 for a 5-0 shutout win. As usual junior netminder David Engel had a solid game. Engel now ranks fourth in the state in save percentage.
The last game of the tourney was played against the Detroit Lakes . The Lakers had 37 goals in just 7 games entering the contest with one player scoring 14, and another with 13 assists. The teams were well matched and the opening period was well played. The Lakers scored first on a rebound after hitting the pipe at 10.42. MW came back with two goals by the J. Brandstetter, Wlliams, Horgan line with Horgan assisting on goals by the other two. At the end of the first MW held a 2-1 lead.
Most of the second period featured well played, hard hitting high school hockey with only one penalty in the period. The White Hawks extended the lead to 3-1 when Riley Williams scored after a flurry in front of the Laker net on a fourth rebound at 13.31. MW outshot DL 15-4 in the period and the Lakers looked a bit weary towards the end of the period.
At 4.28 of the third DL scored a power play goal on a wide open net/rebound to narrow the gap to 3-2. For the rest of the game MW took control and reeled off three goals against the Lakers with the last one on the power play by Junior defenseman Will Griffith. In the end the White Hawks skated off with a convincing 6-2 win .
The boys played well all week and were just 6.6 seconds away from going 3-0 in the tourney. Next up for MW, at Hopkins Thurs Jan. 13 and a home game with Delano Sat. Jan. 15th.