A northern Minnesota vs. southern Minnesota matchup is always a fun hockey game to watch.
Although St. Cloud may not necessarily be considered "southern" the Warroad - St. Cloud Tech game on Friday, Jan. 7, showcased talent from both regions of the state as Warroad skated to a 2-1 victory.
"It's always good playing a 'city' team" Warroad junior forward Tanner Pederson said. "We've always had a good rivalry with (St. Cloud Tech) and they're a Class 2A school so it's always good to get a win against them."
Pederson picked a great time to score his second goal of the season as he buried a loose puck in front of St. Cloud Tech goaltender Al Patten. Pederson's goal came during one of the several Warriors third-period shorthanded opportunities. Warroad senior forward Nick Stoskopf created the chance as he made a great poke check, sending him unchallenged into the zone with Pederson trailing.
"Nick (Stoskopf) got a timely pokecheck and we came done on a 2-on-0," Pederson said. "He passed it to me, we got a rebound and buried it. We just kept going on the penatly kill during the third."
The goal came with 1:03 left in the action-packed game.
"I thought we came out hard to start there," Warroad coach Albert Hasbargen said. "We scored one in the second period. We probably should have had a couple more but we just couldn't make our passes click. We were working hard and creating chances but we just weren't making it click. In the third period we kind of hung on there and we had to kill a lot of penalties.
"In the end we just gutted it out."
Penalties were quite common during the third period as seven minor penalties were called - all on Warroad. There were coindental minors called late in the third period as Stoskopf and St. Cloud Tech's Mitch Hall were called for roughing. Tech also received a 5-minute major penalty as Ryan Heaton was called for tripping on a knee-to-knee play that sent Warroad's David Nelson to the ice in obvious pain.
"He (Nelson) has some ice on it right now, it's sore," Hasbargen said. "He's our leading goal scorer so that was huge for us. He's gonna ice it and he's walking on it. Hopefully he's alright. Right now we're banged up a little bit but that's why you play JV games - we have some kids that are going to have to step up."
A physical game was to be expected as the teams have developed a small rivalry.
"They're in our section in the Class 2A part so they're going to play a lot of teams that we play," Hasbargen said. "It's just fun to play well against them. Nice to start the year with a good game. It's a pretty good rivalry. They came up and we had a close game last year - it's just good hockey for both teams to play."
"It's great," Pederson said. "These guys are always fun to play."
1. Tanner Pederson, Warroad
The junior forward picked a great time to score his second goal of the season burying a loose puck for a shorthanded goal that would prove to be the game winner. Pederson also played great hockey throughout the entire game.
2. Mitch Hall, St. Cloud Tech
Excitement follows the senior forward every shift he is on the ice. Hall scored a pretty goal after showing off his dangling skills behind the Warroad net tying the game at 1 in the third period.
3. Andy Foster, Warroad
Weathering St. Cloud Tech's offensive rushes, Foster played an excellent game in between the pipes. The junior goaltender made 26 saves for the victory - several of those shots coming during Tech's power play chances.
The start to the 2010-2011 season was rough on Warroad.
Despite winning their first three games, the Warriors lost their next four games dropping them out of the Class 1A Top Ten.
Warroad would battle back however, as they switched their losing streak to a winning one.
"We got off to a rough start," Warroad coach Albert Hasbargen said. "We had some kids that had to learn how to play the game and some young kids that had to learn.
"We got into a little groove and won four games straight. This game (Friday, Jan. 7, win over St. Cloud Tech) is a nice start to the new year and hopefully we can keep it going."
The Warriors will be looking to continue their winning streak in 2011 and are hoping to ride the momentum into the section playoffs.
Circle Thursday, Jan. 13, on your calendars as Warroad hosts Roseau in what is arguably considered the state's best rivalry.
Tanner Pederson scored his second goal of the season on a third period shorthanded rush sending Warroad to a 2-1 victory over St. Cloud Tech on Friday, Jan. 7, at the Municipal Athletic Complex.
Pederson tapped in a loose puck past Tigers' goaltender Al Patten after a poke check by Nicholas Stoskopf created a 2-on-0 shorthanded opportunity.
Andy Foster made 26 saves for the Warriors, several coming on Tech's multiple power plays.
Mitch Hall provided the lone goal for Tech, showing off his dangling skills behind the Warroad goal and tucking the puck through Foster's legs.
Patten made 32 saves for the Tigers, keeping his team in the game until the game's final minutes.
Warroad continues its St. Cloud road trip on Saturday, Jan. 8, at 2:15 p.m. as they take on St. Cloud Catherdral at the Municipal Athletic Complex.
St. Cloud Tech hosts Moorhead on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. The game between the Tigers and Spuds will be played at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.