Mahtomedi goaltender Bailey Huber makes a stop during a 5-on-3 in the first period on Friday night. Huber and the Zephyrs killed seven penalties while the goalie stopped 26 shots in a 4-0 win. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
Mahtomedi killed seven penalties and worked through a pair of extended 5-on-3’s to shut out Greenway 4-0 in Class 1A top-5 showdown Friday night.
To have the game end up as it did -- with it once teetering on the verge of a disaster for the Zephyrs -- is a testament to the team taking things one shift at a time.
“It was a great character statement for our guys,” Mahtomedi coach Jeff Poeschl said. “I’m most impressed with our ability to grind it out for a complete 51 minutes. If we have that kind of compete level, I like our chances against anyone.”
Mahtomedi, ranked No. 3 in the coaches’ poll, shook off two quick major penalties early in the game and used an aggressive penalty kill to try to pop out from the triangle and pressure the puck carrier.
The Zephyrs (3-0-1) forced turnovers, cashing in with two shorthanded goals, to stem the tide of the game.
Charlie Bartholomew scored the first while killing a penalty with 2:19 left in the opening period, making good on the second of two breakaway chances. The goal helped change the emotional landscape of the game.
“It was a killer for them,” said the senior forward, who also had an assist on the night. “For much of the period, they were 5-on-3 and controlling the puck. Then bang, one play and we get a shortie. It had to have been a dagger for them.”
Perhaps it was a tipping point, as it worked to ignite Mahtomedi and deflate Greenway (5-1-0), which had peppered shots on net just moments before giving up the goal.
“Five-on-threes can be great if you score,” Poeschl said scoring with a man advantage can be great if a team scores, but it can also be deflating if a team gives up a goal. He said that's what happened Friday night.
“Our guys kept their composure, and from that point we played a physical game and did not back down,” he added.
Mahtomedi's Bailey Huber was stellar in net, especially in the first period as the team worked its way through nearly four minutes down two skaters. The Zephyrs goalie finished with 26 saves and silenced a Raiders squad that was unbeaten and averaging nearly 6 goals per game.
Depth proved another factor, as Mahtomedi continually rolled three or four lines -- something Greenway was unable to match with a shorter bench. It proved apparent as the Zephyrs were more the more physical team later in the game.
"They’ve got some nice high-end skill, but we’ve got four good lines and we felt like if we kept taking the body and wearing them down, then it would work out for us” Bartholomew said.
As the game progressed, things fell apart for Greenway, which kept up with shots but not with the kind of heavy pressure Mahtomedi kept delivering. The Zephyrs' offensive puck movement proved more proficient and purposeful than the Raiders'.
“When you spent that much time playing 3-on-5, then 5-on-5 started to feel like a power play for us,” Poeschl said.
Mahtomedi senior forward Charlie Bartholomew celebrates a shorthanded goal in the first period Friday night. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
Mahtomedi fought through long periods of playing short-handed to grind out a 4-0 victory over Greenway Friday night.
The Zephyrs, ranked No. 3-1A by the coaches’ poll, scored two short handed goals and outworked the Raiders as the game progressed to carve out a convincing victory.
No. 4-1A ranked Greenway went 0-for-7 on the powerplay and failed to cash in on 38 minutes of infractions. Mahtomedi goalie Bailey Huber earned the shutout between the pipes by stopping 26 shots, and proved especially clutch early on as Mahtomedi needed to kill nearly four minutes of a 5-on-3.
Charlie Bartholemew scored the game’s first goal while killing a penalty with 2:19 left in the opening period, and the Zephyrs (3-0-1) were on their way. Bartholemew finished with a goal and an assist to help lead the Zephyrs, while Sam Ayd and Kory Pilaski also chipped in a pair of assists.
Ville Hyttinen manned the crease for Greenway (5-1), stopping 24 shots for the Raiders.
Greenway sophomore defenseman Christian Miller stickhandles through the offensive zone in the third period Saturday. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
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