Cretin-Derham Hall junior Joseph Gimberlin attacks through the neutral zone during Tuesday night's game at Vadnais Sports Center. Gimberlin scored twice as the Raiders defeated White Bear Lake 3-2. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
The extent of Cretin-Derham Hall forward Matt Gleason’s varsity career barely spans more than a dozen games.
But the freshman and team’s leading scorer knows how to put the Raiders’ 3-2 win over White Bear Lake into a historical context.
Simply put, it doesn’t happen very often.
“I haven’t been playing here that long, but I grew up watching (Cretin-Derham Hall), and I’ve seen White Bear Lake kill us too many times,” Gleason said. “A win is always nice, but it feels that much better to beat those guys.”
Gleason and Cretin-Derham Hall (11-5-0, 9-1-0) held off White Bear Lake Tuesday night at Vadnais Sports Center for a narrow one-goal victory, a win that also completes the season sweep of the Bears during Suburban East Conference play.
It’s the first time in recent memory (perhaps ever) the Raiders have been able to defeat White Bear Lake (10-5-2, 7-3-0) twice during the conference schedule.
Needless to say, it provides a boost for the Raiders, who have now won four straight as they surge into late January.
“This is a big win for us,” Cretin-Derham Hall co-coach Jim O’Neill said. “All-in-all, the whole team played well, and we used all 20 guys. It was a total team effort.”
Gleason opened the scoring for the Raiders a little less than four minutes into the first period when he notched his team-leading 12th goal of the season to get Cretin-Derham Hall started.
White Bear Lake, ranked No. 13 in Class 2A by the state coaches’ poll, responded, tying the game at 1-1, and then later 2-2, before Raiders’ junior forward Joseph Gimberlin scored the game-winner (his second of the game) a little less than two minutes into the third period.
With the lead, the Raiders proved impossible to catch.
“Everyone had a hand in this,” Gimberlin said. “We all were moving our feet, and we finished our checks. Those little things are what allowed us to win.”
Cretin-Derham Hall wore down White Bear Lake as the game moved along. The Bears, playing from behind most of the way, shortened their bench and relied mostly on their top two lines. Cretin-Derham Hall, erstwhile, rolled with all four its lines, and worked the Bears to the point of exhaustion.
“They played mostly two lines, and we played four,” Gleason said. “They have two very good lines, but we’ve got four good lines and a lot more depth. We feel like we can beat anybody if we play like we did tonight.”
What the Raiders didn’t take away from the Bears with fatigue, Cretin-Derham Hall was able to keep a lid on with an effective 1-3-1 forecheck that jammed White Bear Lake’s ability to break the puck out its zone way too many times.
It was by design, and it was effective.
“They’ve got some dangerous forwards that can generate some offense,” O’Neill said. “We felt that it would be best to keep the puck in their zone as much as possible. We had a lot of zone time, and that really helped us out.”
The win is the fourth in a row for the Raiders, who have outscored their opponents 17-5 during that stretch.
White Bear Lake goaltender Bob Parenteau stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced, while Raiders’ goalie Mike Magnuson made 21 saves on 23 shots.
The victory keeps Cretin-Derham Hall right in the thick of the conference race. But perhaps more importantly, it’s how the victory was earned that will give the Raiders their biggest jolt of confidence.
“Our team chemistry is really good right now,” Gimberlin said. “Our passes are sharp and our movement is good. Everything is starting to come together.”
White Bear Lake defenseman Cade Varney helps clear the puck from the zone in the third period Tuesday. White Bear Lake fell on home ice to Cretin-Derham Hall 3-2. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
Cretin-Derham Hall junior forward Joseph Gimberlin scored two goals, including the game-winner, as the Raiders knocked off Suburban East Conference rival White Bear Lake 3-2 at Vadnais Sports Center Tuesday night.
It took Cretin-Derham Hall a little less than four minutes to open the scoring when Matt Gleason netted his 12th goal of the season. Ties would follow at 1-1 and 2-2 before Gimberlin’s decisive goal came one minute, 52 seconds into the third to seal the victory for the Raiders.
The win is the fourth in a row for the Raiders (11-5-0, 9-1-0), who have outscored their opponents 17-5 during that stretch. The Bears, ranked No. 13 in Class 2A by the state coaches’ poll, drop to 10-5-2 and 7-3-0 in the conference.
White Bear Lake goaltender Bob Parenteau stopped 21 of the 24 shots, while Raiders goalie Mike Magnuson made 21 saves on 23 shots.
Cretin-Derham Hall's William Pope and White Bear Lake's Tate Stanfield scramble for the puck in the neutral zone. The Raiders defeated the Bears 3-2. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
White Bear Lake forward Austin Carroll carries the puck into the offensive zone during the second period Tuesday night. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
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