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Red Wing takes down Austin in Big Nine Conference play

By Drew Herron, SportsEngine, 01/19/17, 7:00AM CST


The Wingers never trailed, rolling the Packers 5-3.

Red Wing's Nick Ramstad battles for a loose puck with Austin's Jack Dankert (23) and Jake Halsey (17) during the first period Thursday night in Austin. Red Wing defeated the host Packers 5-3. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

Red Wing senior Tyler DeFore could hardly believe his fortune when the puck found his blade in the offensive zone late in the first period, another in the stream of Austin turnovers.

After burying that opportunity, which was enough to push the Wingers ahead for good, his grit on the boards on a penalty kill created more luck late in the second. DeFore pounced on a broken Packers’ power play break out attempt. The forward made diagonal flash to the net and burned Austin goaltender Noah Bawek for a short-handed goal that all but sank the host Packers en route to a 5-3 Red Wing victory.

“I like to be aggressive on the [penalty kill], I feel like that’s kind of my specialty,” DeFore said. “When I saw that opportunity, I made my move and it worked.”

DeFore’s efforts helped lift Red Wing (6-6, 4-2) past Austin in a crucial Big Nine Conference victory that keeps the Wingers tied with Mankato West for second place behind Northfield. 

Jackson Maroushek finished with a pair of goals for Red Wing, scoring both of them in the first period.

Inclimate weather has forced some postponements in Red Wing’s schedule, limiting the Wingers to playing just one game since Dec. 29. If there was concern about the lay-off, those worries were laid to rest with a three-goal first period.

“Our guys are doing a good job of working hard every day, and preparing for the end of the season,” Red Wing coach Anthony Boser said. “We talk about bringing the effort everyday, and to keep learning and building. I think our guys understand that.”

For Austin, not caring for the puck tells the story.

“We’re kind of like Jekyll and Hyde sometimes” Austin coach Jason Merritt said. “Our inability to move the puck has a lot to do with our inexperience at defense. We’re playing some young guys on the blue line, and it’s all a learning process.”

Jack Dankert, Bryar Flanders and Dylan Svoboda scored goals for Austin (6-8, 3-6).

Noah Bawek stopped 28 shots in net for Austin, while his counterpart Zach Harding finished with 29 saves for Red Wing.

With a lengthy eight-game road stretch that continues Saturday at Owatonna, Red Wing will keep fighting for standing in the Big Nine and Class 1A, Section 1.

“We are playing good hockey right now,” DeFore said. “It’s something we look to keep building on as we move forward into an important stretch ahead.”

Red Wing defenseman Cam Blue (7) congratulates senior forward Tyler DeFore (12) after DeFore's first period goal gave the Wingers a early lead en route to a 5-3 win at Austin Thursday night. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

First Report

Red Wing scored three goals directly off turnovers that helped fuel the Wingers 5-3 road victory over Austin Thursday night.

Red Wing forwards Jackson Maroushek and Tyler DeFore each finished with a pair of goals for the Wingers, who picked up a crucial Big 9 Conference victory to remain tied for second place behind Northfield.

Moroushek scored first for Red Wing (6-6, 4-2) less than two minutes in, and Red Wing never trailed. Moroushek added another goal five minutes later as the Wingers pounced on the Packers’ miscues.

Jack Dankert, Bryar Flanders and Dylan Svoboda all scored goals for Austin (6-8, 3-6).

Noah Bawek stopped 28 shots in net for Austin, while his counterpart Zach Harding finished with 29 saves for Red Wing.

Austin junior defenseman Bryar Flanders skates the puck up-ice in the third period.

Photo Gallery

Austin forward Tyler Hoban lays a hit on Red Wing senior defenseman Ryan Swanson in the neutral zone Thursday night at Riverside Arena in Austin. Red Wing defeated Austin 5-3. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

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