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Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper's big third period sinks Academy of Holy Angels

By Drew Herron, SportsEngine, 02/09/17, 7:00AM CST


Erik Evans scored twice and Drew Eid notched his second of the game in the third period of the Wings' 4-2 win.


Goaltender Ethan Marsh stretches to make a save as Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper skated off a five-minute penalty in the second period. Marsh made 19 saves in the Wings' 4-2 victory. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine

Another night, another hero for Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper.

The Wings, who are off to their best start in the three-year stretch as a combined program and already have the Northwest Suburban West Division title wrapped up, rallied from a pair of deficits to roll past Academy of Holy Angels 4-2 on Thursday night in Richfield.

Senior Erik Evans scored a pair of goals, the second of which came on a third-period penalty shot that proved to be the game winner. 

“There is always that belief that somebody is going to step up and be a hero tonight, and that has been the theme,” Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper head coach Danny Charleston said.

For Evans, who took center stage with 2:20 remaining and the game tied at 2-2, the first penalty shot of his career will never be forgotten. The captain flew in on Stars' goalie Luke Miller and faked a snapshot before knocking the puck through his pads. 

“Before the shot, our goalie Ethan (Marsh) told me to look for the five-hole, and that would probably be open,” Evans said. “I was thinking that way the whole time, so I faked a shot and went backhand, forehand, then five-hole.”

The goal gave the Wings an important Class 2A, Section 6 win that will elevate them past the Stars in the seeding process. Armstrong/Cooper (13-8-2, 9-1-2) has won four straight and six of its last seven after starting the season 1-4. 

“Find a way to win, that’s seems to be the story for this team,” Evans said. “A lot of times, we’ve been able to dig deep and make it happen. I think team chemistry has a lot (to do with it).”

Evans is the second leading scorer on the team with 12 goals and 33 points, while nine different skaters have at least 10 points on the season. The Wings boast 11 seniors that have led the scoring-by-commitee mentality.  

“If you look at the depth of our scoring, it’s not one, two or three,” Charleston said. “You can go all the way down to nine or 10 on the list, and you can see that those guys are contributing...we don’t win these games unless every one of the guys in the locker room are contributing.”

Ethan Marsh stopped 19 shots in net for Armstrong/Cooper, while his counterpart Luke Miller made 27 saves on the 30 shots he faced.

Holy Angels (6-13-3, 1-1-1) had a pair of single-goal leads after scoring goals in the final half minute of the first and second periods, but the second and third periods were mostly played in the Stars’ defensive zone as the Wings started tallying shots and building pressure. After being outshot 8-9 in the first 17 minutes, Armstrong/Cooper finished with 31 shots to Holy Angels' 21.

Belief in the system and a commitment to special teams helped carry the Wings, especially through killing a five-minute major in which the Stars were held scoreless and to just two shots.

“We are winning games, so the belief is there,” Charleston says. “When we get into this kind of situation, the tension isn’t there on the bench, it’s more about who is going to step up and make it happen.”


Holy Angels goaltender Luke Miller couldn't stop a penalty shot by Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper's Erik Evans late in the third period that turned out to be the game-winning goal. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine

First Report

Erik Evans and Drew Eid each scored twice to lead Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper to a 4-2 comeback victory over Academy of Holy Angels Thursday night in Richfield.

Evans scored the eventual game-winner on a penalty shot with 2:20 remaining to push the Wings ahead for good after playing catch-up most of the night.

Armstrong/Cooper (13-8-2, 9-1-2) has won four straight and six of its last seven after starting the season 1-4. The Wings, in their third year as a combined program, recently clinched the Northwest Suburban West Division Championship.

Holy Angels (6-13-3, 1-1-1) scored twice in the final moments of both the first and second periods to push the Wings back on their heels early, but the Stars were unable to hold on against a determined Armstrong/Cooper team. 

Ethan Marsh stopped 19 shots in net for the Wings, while his counterpart Luke Miller made 27 saves on the 30 shots he faced.

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