Blake senior Donald Chute, who scored twice, works past Totino-Grace defenseman Brian Schlagel. Photo by Helen Nelson
Family meals in the Chute household are civilized affairs, but then these are hockey players we are talking about.
Lots of them.
“We have to guard our food at the table,” said Blake senior forward Donald Chute, whose older sisters, Katharine and Margaret, were standouts on the school’s girls’ hockey team before heading to play for Harvard.
Throw in a couple of younger brothers with healthy appetites, and Donald has a basis of comparison when it comes to explaining the tenacity around the net he shares with Christopher Chute, a sophomore.
“It’s just like fighting for a cookie, fighting for the puck,” said Donald, who scored twice and had an assist in the Bears’ 5-3 victory over previously unbeaten Totino-Grace on Friday, Jan. 7, at Blake School Ice Arena. “It’s just natural.”
Christopher Chute also scored as Blake, ranked No. 5 in Class 1A, improved to 8-1-2 despite playing a schedule that has included Class 2A teams such as Stillwater, Cretin-Derham Hall and Holy Angels.
Totino-Grace was one of just two undefeated teams left in the state (Hermantown is the other) entering the game. But the Eagles hadn’t played a caliber of schedule that could match the Bears’.
“I think that helped them play at a faster pace,” Totino-Grace coach Mark Loahr said about the disparity in the teams’ strength of schedules. “It took us a couple of periods to adjust.”
Trailing 4-0 entering the third period, Totino-Grace scored twice in the opening 4 minutes, 7 second to make things interesting. Blake, however, got a power-play goal from senior George Ordway to pull ahead 5-2 late in the period.
Blake senior Donald Chute, center, and Totino-Grace's T.J. Roo watch for the puck in front of Bears goaltender Ryan Hayes. Photo by Helen Nelson
“We were ready for intense shifts, an intense game,” said Donald Chute, who has 16 points to rank second on the Bears in scoring behind Ordway. “I think we were more accustomed to going out and playing full bore every shift. It could be attributed to our schedule, but I’d like to attribute to it to our practice habits and the way we come out everyday ready to work.”
Ah yes, work.
“Nobody is going to ever outwork Donald and Christopher Chute,” Blake coach John Hamre said. “On our team, we take a lot of pride in bringing work ethic to the rink in practice and that carries over to the games.”
The Chutes’ nonstop motors and constantly moving feet are trademark family attributes.
Listen to this description of Katharine Chute, who was named the state’s Ms. Hockey in 2007.
“Her game is movement and speed. She is never in one place very long. … It almost takes a mugging to get her.”
The quote came from Blake girls’ hockey coach Brano Stankovsky, who might just as well have been describing Donald and Christopher.
Of course, Blake is more than a two-brother team. The playmaking of Ordway and booming shot of defenseman Ryan Bullock, a standout in the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League last fall, help fuel a deadly Bears’ power play.
Blake scored on all three of is power-play opportunities against Totino-Grace and is converting 37.3 percent of its chances.
“On the power play, those are some kids who have played a lot of hockey together,” Hamre said. “They have worked together since their sophomore years.”
Blake senior Donald Chute scored twice and his sophomore brother, Christopher, added a goal as the Bears beat Totino-Grace 5-3 to end the Eagles’ eight-game winning streak to start the season on Friday, Jan. 7, at Blake School Ice Arena in Hopkins.
Trailing 4-0 to start the third period, Totino-Grace (8-1-0) scored twice in the opening 4 minutes, 7 seconds. Derek Lodermeier and Xavier Fust had the goals the energized the Eagles and forced Blake to take a timeout.
Blake’s George Ordway scored a power-play goal with 4:04 remaining to give the Bears a 5-2 lead. Brian Schlagel completed the scoring for Totino-Grace.
Freshman Spencer Naas and Donald Chute scored in the first period for Blake (8-1-2), and the Bears led 4-0 after the second after goals from Donald and Christopher Chute.
Blake, ranked No. 5 in Class 2A, went 3-for-3 on the power play while No. 8 Totino-Grace was 0-for-5. The Bears also scored a shorthanded goal.
Ryan Hayes was a standout in goal for Blake, as he finished with 31 saves. Totino-Grace goaltender Rory Davidowski made 25 saves.
1. Donald Chute, Blake
The senior forward and co-captain scored twice, added an assist and helped set the tempo for a Bears team that seemingly plays in high gear every shift. Chute was a key cog in a machine-like Blake power play that went 3-for-3.
2. Ryan Hayes, Blake
Hayes, a senior, made 31 saves and was tested repeatedly from the start. Rarely out of position, Hayes made save after save look routine because of his pinpoint positioning, and he had a shutout heading into the third period.
3. George Ordway, Blake
The crafty senior forward is the definition of a playmaker. He helped set up three goals and assisted on another.