Rivalry week extended outside of NCAA Men’s Basketball this week for Duluth East as they took on Cloquet/Esko/Carlton early in the week and then finished out the week with Elk River. East won handily 8-1 against Cloquet, and then won a barn-burner 2-1 against Elk River.
Jake Randolph scored with only 1:52 remaining in the third period to break a 1-1 tie that had held up since the 5:44 mark in the first period.
“I was struggling all game,” Jake Randolph said. “They are a really hard team to play against, but what a great pass from Toninato. He sauced it through the [defensemen] and I came in through an opening and made sure I didn’t choke on that one.”
Dom Toninato scored the game’s first goal at the 11:36 mark of the first period off an amazing pass from Trevor Olson to give himself the breakaway goal. Elk River tied it up with less than six minutes left in the first period – also their first shot and only shot of the period.
“JoJo did a heck of a job today,” East coach Mike Randolph said. “The first puck went in and then he really dug in. When they did get their chances he was there and his play is the reason we’re where we’re at because we really didn’t play good in the second period.”
East only allowed one shot on net during the first period but the shots closed up 12-11 in favor of the Greyhounds after the second period. The third period saw East break it open in the shots department 11-4, but Anders Franke was there in a big way for the Elk.
“That junior class they have it something else, and his kid [Jake Randolph] is outstanding,” Elk River coach Tony Sarsland said. “Our goalie played real well today, and he usually does. He’s been a starter since his freshman year, which for us is good to have great goaltending.”
Franke stopped several amazing shots by Randolph and Olson and others throughout the game, especially in the third period. Midway through the third, Olson received a pass and had a shot from point blank range in front of the net, but Franke gloved the shot and thwarted the attempt.
The game was a lot closer than many would have thought, especially with Elk River’s record, but they play many tough teams throughout the season, including Maple Grove three times and Blaine twice.
This could be a possible matchup in the 7AA sectional playoffs, and coach Randolph says this Elk River team could be dangerous if their goaltender stays hot.
1. Jake Randolph, Duluth East
Randolph broke the tie game open with just 1:52 left to play to give the Greyhounds a 2-1 win. Randolph was kept off the sheet from his line’s first goal, but took a sweet pass from Toninato to net the game winner.
2. JoJo Jeanetta, Duluth East
Jeanetta only let in on goal and it came on the Elks’ first shot of the game, which came with less than six minutes left in the first period.
3. Anders Franke, Elk River
Franke played outstanding between the pipes, making several huge saves, keeping his team in the game especially in the third when East really stepped it up.