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Red Knights upset defending state champs

By BSMHockey.com, 01/19/17, 11:45PM CST


Power-play goals lead BSM past Wayzata.

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. -- Wednesday, Benilde-St. Margaret's had an option practice as head coach Ken Pauly gave his team a rest in the midst of three games in five days.

In a season where seemingly everything that can go wrong, has, the Red Knights suffered another blow when co-captain and goal-scoring leader Peter Moran suffered a broken leg.

Pauly had to make more lineup changes and brought up several junior varsity players for a meeting with defending Class AA state champion Wayzata.

Among those players was James Norkosky, who made his varsity debut when he hit the ice with nine minutes, five seconds to play in a tie game.

In a seemingly innocuous play, Norkosky jumped outside of Wayzata's Matt Cossette to grab a loose puck and, to prevent him from breaking in on goal, the Trojan defense took him to the ice and Norkosky's effort led to a Red Knight power play.

It was on that power-play that Bronson McLeod scored his first goal as a Red Knight to snap a 2-2 and end BSM's nine-game winless streak with a 3-2 victory.

Although Norkosky's play may have gone under the radar, it was another unsung hero who got things going for BSM.

After a scoreless first period, the Red Knights got on the scoreboard first when Michael McNeil got the puck on right right boards in the Wayzata end and threw a pass into the slot.

That pass found the stick of Brian Arnold who turned and fired, finding the upper corner of the net for his first varsity goal and a 1-0 Red Knight lead at 4:08 of the second period.

It was BSM's first shot on goal of the period and, on their second shot, Nick Sims converted an Ian Bahr pass on the power play for a 2-0 lead.

The Trojans, who outshot Red Knights, 13-8 in the period, made a goaltending change and settled into a bit of a rhythm, finally cutting the lead in half with 42 seconds remaining in the period as Colin Schmidt scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal to send his team into the intermission with some momentum and with 32 seconds of 5-on-4 power-play time remaining.

BSM would finish killing that penalty to open the third period but Wayzata still controlled much of the play before Cossette's penalty with 8:32 to play in the game.

McLeod's goal came when he took a pass from Sims inside the blue line and his shot deflected off a Trojan stick and into the net, giving a struggling BSM power play its third goal in two games.

Amidst all of this was BSM goalie Zach Everett, who turned in one of his best performances of the season. His 14-save third period capped a 33-save effort which saw him earn the game's first star.

The win also gives the Red Knights two wins against Section 6AA opponents, which will be important when teams are seeded for the section tournament in four weeks.

Next up for BSM is a Saturday matinee at ninth-ranked Holy Family, with the opening faceoff slated for 2 p.m.