Of the 21 games the Mahtomedi Zephyrs have played, Patrick Kegley has only scored in five of them. However, he now has nine goals, burying three for a hat trick on Feb. 2 in a 6-1 Classic Suburban Conference (CSC) game against North St. Paul.
It was the third time this season Kegley has had multi-goal efforts in what appears to be a trend when he puts the rubber in the back of the net.
“It seems to be going that way,” Kegley said. “My line works hard and it feels good to score a few goals.”
Zephyrs fans let their hats fly when Kegley put home his third goal just 19 seconds after the Polars got on the board.
“He’s a hard worker,” Mahtomedi coach Jeff Poeschl said. “It seems to be the trend this season that he gets multiple goals in a game. It is nice to see him rewarded with a hat trick tonight.”
Another trend for the Zephyrs in their game against North St. Paul was the way they scored.
If one were to calculate the total distance the puck traveled from Kegley’s stick to the back of the net, they might find a number in the single digits.
After receiving a beautiful pass at the Polars blue line from Tanner Jordan, Kegley was able to get to the hash marks in front of the net and get off a quick wrist shot that North St. Paul goalie Eric Manteuffel got a piece of, but slipped by.
His second came in front of the net while Manteuffel was scrambling after the Zephyrs were buzzing around the Polars zone.
In the third, Kegley completed the hat trick when he chipped a rebound shot harmlessly into the net, which capped off an impressive CSC win.
“Those are the goals that win you games in overtime or in the playoffs,” Kegley said. “They are important.”
Teammate Luke Mathson, who was doing his best to match Kegley, scored two of his own, tallied one of them by staying right on the post. The puck found him and he was right there to put it away.
“That’s where most of the goals are scored,” Poeschl said. “It’s also where guys get knocked on their back. We call that ‘Bloody Nose Alley’. Not always fun to be there, but that is where goals are scored.
“You’re in the trenches and I think our guys did a good job of sticking their nose in there and working hard.”
Mahtomedi was equally as good in front of its own crease. Goalie Sawyer Marshall did not have traffic to deal with, nor have Polars’ forwards bearing down on him every time he covered the puck.
“I thought we were solid all night defensively,” Poeschl said. “We had good sticks and played well in our positions. There wasn’t many times when we were chasing them around. Just played a pretty sound defensive effort.”
Mahtomedi might not be where it wants to be in the conference standings or the state-wide recognition, but a blue-collar work ethic in front of both nets will garner attention right away.
It took until the seventh game of the season for the Zephyrs to record their first win.
Ironically, it was against North St. Paul on Dec. 18 by a score of 6-3.
A year removed from a deep state title run, the start of the season was not exactly what Mahtomedi had in store for the 2010-11 campaign.
On Feb. 2, it took down a Polars team coming off a huge win against South St. Paul in their previous meeting and possibly making some fireworks fly in Section 4AA.
The 6-1 victory against the Polars could be of significance if Mahtomedi gets on a roll. It might be a matter of just looking in the mirror and realizing what they could do, for the Zephyrs.
“It’s important with regards to where we are at in the season,” Poeschl said. “We have been playing well the last couple of weeks and these guys have to start believing that they are a good team. Hopefully tonight is a step in that direction.”
Confidence could not come at a better time. There are only four games left on the regular season schedule for Mahtomedi and one of those is a Feb. 10 home affair with St. Thomas Academy.
A week later is a finale against South St. Paul right before the section playoffs begin.
“It just gives us a lot of momentum,” Kegley said. “We have St. Thomas next week and the playoffs will be here soon and we have to be playing our best hockey. I think we are clicking at the right time with the playoffs right around the corner.”
Patrick Kegley scored three goals and was one of four Zephyrs who had multi-point nights.
Luke Mathson scored two goals, Mike Rose had a goal and two helpers and Tanner Jordan dished out three assists for the Zephyrs as they dominated North St. Paul at the St. Croix Valley Rec Center 6-1 on Feb. 2.
Kegley scored the first two goals of the game and did so in the trenches. His third, which capped off the scoring for the evening, was once again of the blue-collar style.
In the latter stages of the second period, Mahtomedi scored three goals in a one minute, 12 second span and took a 5-0 lead into the third period. Two of those goals were just 18 seconds apart.
Sawyer Marshall stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced and was calm all night. There was not a lot he had to contend with and even when he did kick a rebound out in front of his net, Mahtomedi players where sound defensively and did a great job tying up or getting the puck out of harms way.
Andrew Otis scored the only goal for the Polars on the power play, when he put home a rebound into a wide-open net, but Kegley rained on his parade 29 seconds later.
North St. Paul will have to like its wounds and do so in a hurry. The loss drops its record to 11-7-1 (5-4-1 CSC) and will play rival Tartan on Feb. 5 on the road.
Mahtomedi is getting closer to the .500 mark after a rough start to the season and will keep its 9-11-1 (5-5-0 CSC) record at home on Feb. 5 against Henry Sibley.
1. Patrick Kegley, Mahtomedi
Hat trick, tough-guy goals and the reason why the Zephyrs won a key late season game makes Kegley the easy choice for the top star. His shots did not travel a long ways, but they did the job. In the first period, it seemed North St. Paul was going to make a game of it, but Kegley scored one late to give the Zephyrs some life they needed. He has nine goals this season and 1/3 of them came against North St. Paul. Kegley had three assists in a 6-3 win on Dec. 18 against the Polars.
2. Luke Mathson, Mahtomedi
He gave it the old college try in an attempt to keep up with Kegley. Any other night he would be the top star, but regardless, a nice game for Mathson. Throughout the night, he was an offensive force and a pain for the Polars.
3. Tanner Jordan, Mahtomedi
Three assists and one beautiful pass to Kegley on his first goal. A pass so good, it would make Super Bowl quarterbacks blush, set the tone for the rest of the game, because Mahtomedi took control of the contest after the first goal. Jordan had his chances to score as well, but stuck with dishes the puck and his team benefited from that.