Wayzata's Paul Voelker (No. 19) nets the game-winning goal in overtime giving the Trojans a 5-4 victory over Edina on Thursday, Jan. 20. Photo by Adam Crane
Wayzata’s Mario Lucia watched his team’s thrilling 5-4 0vertime victory from the stands at Braemar Ice Arena on Thursday, Jan. 20. The junior forward was forced to sit the Lake Conference matchup due to a fighting disqualification penalty sustained during Wayzata's 4-1 loss on Saturday, Jan. 15, against Moorhead.
No Lucia, no problem.
“Lucia is one of our go-to guys,” Wayzata senior forward Tyler Klein said. “Coming into the game we knew that we were going to have to step up - we needed to have a couple other guys step up and that's what happened.”
Wayzata's Tyler Klein (No. 3) scores one of his first period goals against Edina on Thursday, Jan. 20. Photo by Adam Crane
Klein proved to be one of the ‘other guys’ as he scored two first period goals for the Trojans. Fellow senior forward Paul Voelker ended up being another one of the ‘other guys’.
Voelker registered two points – his sixth and seventh points of the season – including the game-winning goal in overtime.
“(Mario) Lucia is definitely one of our best players by far,” Voelker said. “But I think we all know how to play hockey together, we grew up playing together.
“We know we can do it no matter who's in the line up or not.”
Just over three minutes into overtime, Voelker buried a shot past a diving Connor Girard, Edina’s goaltender.
“It came right to me and I just had to finish it,” Voelker said. “I just like to try to get myself into a position where I can score. I worked hard the entire period and it paid off in the end.”
Voelker’s goal capped a Wayzata comeback that seemed improbable.
Although Wayzata scored three consecutive goals in the first period, it looked like the Trojans would skate to an easy victory.
“I'm convinced that this game is all momentum,” Wayzata coach Carl Davis said. “We had the momentum obviously and within one play the momentum changed because they got a shorthanded goal. You don't see it at the time but looking back it was a momentum changer and they rallied on that. Our guys really grinded it out. We told them to hang in there and stay tough and not get too down.
“It was very tough mentally for us after that second period.”
Edina had scored four straight goals to take a 4-3 lead into the third period leaving a lot for Wayzata to think about during the second intermission.
“After losing the three-goal lead after the second period it got the guys fired up,” Klein said. “We knew what we had to do and we came out and responded.”
“We thought we can't lose this game,” Voelker added. “We knew we had to come out and be dominant - like we were in the first period - and that's what we did.”
The comeback was made possible by Wayzata domination in the third period as well as overtime. The Trojans outshot the Hornets 17-3 in the third period and 6-0 in overtime.
“This is obviously a big confidence booster for us especially coming back after giving up the lead,” Wayzata coach Carl Davis said. “Our guys really made a statement by coming back. I think we really dominated most of that third period and overtime. I'm proud of the character they showed knowing we didn't have Mario (Lucia) out there and we're also missing one of our top defenseman (Matt Halverson). Our guys really worked hard and it paid off.
“What a great hockey game.”
The Wayzata celebration begins led by Paul Voelker (No. 19) after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime during the Trojans 5-4 victory on Thursday, Jan. 20. Photo by Adam Crane
Going into the Thursday, Jan. 20, game against Edina, the Wayzata Trojans were absolutely sure of one thing.
They were sick of losing.
“We had a couple losses against Moorhead lately,” Wayzata’s Paul Voelker said. “As a player it just felt in the locker room like everyone was down like we haven't lost before.”
One of the losses Voelker referred to was the Trojans’ Wednesday, Dec. 29, a 2-1 loss to the Spuds during the St. Louis Park Holiday Tournament. The other came Saturday, Jan. 15, at Plymouth Ice Center when Wayzata fell 4-1 to Moorhead.
Those tough outcomes fueled a strong start by the Trojans and influenced a third period comeback against the Hornets.
“I think most of it is player driven,” Wayzata coach Carl Davis said. “We addressed that after our last game losing to Moorhead. You get that bad taste in your mouth and after a couple days go by and you forget how bad it feels. We have enough leadership on this team to know that they brought that up themselves.
“Going into the third period I heard a lot of guys saying that they're sick of losing and they're going to do something about it.”
Wayzata did ‘something’ outshooting Edina 23-3 during the third period and overtime combined.
The Trojans were down 4-3 going into the third period but dominated the shots on goal and time of possession. Owning those two statistics usually leads to good things.
Sam Majka scored a power play goal just under two minutes in the third period and Voelker capped the comeback in overtime scoring the game-winner 3:04 into the final frame.
The win gave the Trojans their second victory over Edina this season and at least their fifth straight win over the Lake Conference rival. The win streak is thought to be at least seven games long.
“Right now it seems like we do but they're a great team,” Voelker said. “They come to play every game we've played them. We just know what to do and have done well against them.
“We definitely get pumped up to play them especially since it's a conference game.”
The Trojans have another Lake Conference game this week on Saturday, Jan. 20, as they host Eden Prairie.
“It's going to be a fun day tomorrow in practice, get the guys rested up and we're really looking forward to this opportunity to play Eden Prairie,” Davis said. “We haven't played them for a couple years other than playoffs so we're looking forward to playing them a couple times before playoffs start.”
However, don’t think the time apart has weakened the rivalry between the two programs.
“We're still a little sour from last year after losing to them in the section semifinals so we're definitely going out to get them,” Wayzata Tyler Klein said.
Edina's Ben Ostlie (No. 3) takes down Wayzata's Tony Cameranesi (No. 12) in the third period during the Lake Conference matchup on Thursday, Jan. 20. Photo by Adam Crane
Wayzata - without star forward Mario Lucia - continued its win streak over Edina as Paul Voelker scored 3:04 into overtime giving the Trojans a 5-4 victory on Thursday, Jan. 20, in a crazy game at Braemar Ice Arena.
Lucia was out due to a fighting disqualification penalty sustained during Wayzata's 4-1 loss on Saturday, Jan. 15, against Moorhead.
The Trojans kicked off the game with three straight goals during the first period. Wayzata's Bryan Tabery hushed the Edina home crowd with an early goal and teammate Tyler Klein followed with two goals in 1:17 - one coming on the power play.
Edina's Steven Fogarty foreshadowed an Edina comeback scoring a shorthanded goal with 47 seconds left in the first that sent the momentum in the Hornets' favor.
The Hornets scored three goals - two power play goals - in the second period, backing Wayzata into a corner.
The Trojans would come out swinging, outshooting the Hornets 17-3 in the third period - including one shot that led to a game-tying goal by Sam Majka less than 2 minutes into the frame.
Wayzata continued their dominance putting six shots on goal in overtime, the last shot being Voelker's game-winning goal.
Edina had no shots on goal during overtime.
Wayzata's Andrew McIntyre made 24 saves for the win and Hornets' goaltender Connor Girard made 37 saves in the loss.
Next up for Wayzata is another Lake Conference game against Eden Priaire on Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Plymouth Ice Center.
Edina will also be in Lake Conference action on Saturday, Jan. 22, as the Hornets will host Minnetonka at 7 p.m.
Wayzata senior forward Tyler Klein. Photo by Adam Crane
1. Paul Voelker, Wayzata
The senior forward came into the Thursday, Jan. 20, game against Edina with 5 points on the season. He left with 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) and those two points were as crucial as they come. Voelker assisted on a first-period goal by Tyler Klein that provided a boost of momentum for the Trojans but it was his overtime goal that solidified his spot as the game's top star.
2. Tyler Klein, Wayzata
Klein (pictured above) was without linemate Mario Lucia but that may have provided him extra motivation. The senior forward scored two first period goals within 1:17 - one coming on the power play.
3. Connor Girard, Edina
The 'was it or wasn't it a penalty' moment in overtime does not discredit the senior goaltender's performance. Girard (pictured below) was peppered with 42 shots - 30 of them coming during the first and third period combined. The game was kept close - and went to overtime - because of Girard's play as Wayzata was able to keep the puck in the Edina zone and challenge the Hornets' netminder for a majority of the game.
Edina senior goaltender Connor Girard. Photo by Adam Crane