Holy Family Catholic needed less than eight minutes to seize the upper hand in a pivotal Wright County Conference game Thursday night in Delano as the Fire scorched the host Tigers for five first period goals en route to a lopsided 10-1 victory.
The Fire, ranked No. 9-2A by the state coaches’ poll, used their speed and puck protection to overrun No. 2-1A Delano and remain in the driver’s seat for the conference title.
Senior forward Mack Byers scored the first of his four goals 7:57 into the first period to get Holy Family Catholic started, and the Fire (10-3-1, 4-0) followed with three more in the span of less than two minutes to rip the game open.
It was an impressive showing for a Holy Family Catholic team that appears to have bounced back to top form after a late-December swoon.
“We got some early goals that got them reeling a little bit early,” Fire coach Noel Rahn said. “From there, we did all the things that we needed to do to keep scoring and to contain some of their better players. Our guys did a fine job of that.”
Holy Family Catholic had seven power plays throughout the game and seemed to have a permanent man advantage at times.
The Fire worked the front of the net and the corners, fed the offense from low to high and inside out, leaving Delano (10-2-1, 3-1-1) searching in vain for solutions to contain the Fire.
“We spread it out, and were able to use each other while keeping our feet moving,” Rahn said. “When you stand around too much, things get stagnant. Tonight, we were able to cycle the puck and find the guys driving the net. And when that wasn’t there, we were able to bump it up to the points. Our guys did a great job with that, and working in the offensive corners.”
Byers led all skaters with four goals, while Ben Almquist finished with a goal and four assists and senior forward Nick Michel added a pair of goals and an assist.
“It was important for us to jump out on them early,” Michel said. “We’ve been struggling to score goals lately, and this is going to be a big confidence booster for us.”
Delano senior captain Ben Meyers scored the Tigers’ lone goal of the night, which came at 10:06 of the first period.
Holy Family will look to build off this victory as it moves forward into mid-January and towards the section tournament.
“We are in the second half of the season, and we’re trying to make a good push going into the playoffs,” Rahn said. “A victory like this against a very good team is a good start.”
Spotlight Game Coverage