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BSM splits pair in inaugural North-South Classic

By BSMHockey.com, 12/09/17, 10:45PM CST


Red Knights earn OT win over defending Class A and top-ranked Hawks.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- A slow Friday led to a frenetic Saturday as Benilde-St. Margaret's split its two game in the inaugural North-South Classic.

Friday saw Brainerd take control early, outshooting the Red Knights, 10-4, while getting the only goal it would need nine, minutes, 38 seconds into the contast.

The Warriors held a 29-22 advantage in shot on goal and, after taking a 2-0 lead into the final period, put the game away with a pair of goals in the game's final five minutes.

"While we were disappointed in our overall effort on Friday night, Brainerd has a very nice hockey team," BSM head coach Ken Pauly said. "It was a good lesson about being prepared to compete for all three periods."

After a sluggish Friday, the Red Knights got into a foot race with defending Class A state champion and top-ranked Hermantown, taking 3-0 and 4-1 leads before having to go to overtime for a 6-5 win.

BSM took a 3-0 lead in the first period as Matt Kocourek score just 1:32 into the game with Joe Collins and Ian Bahr adding to the tally.

The teams combined for five goals in less than five minutes in the second period, which allowed Hermantown to tie the score at 4-4.

Nate Clark scored twice in the second period versus Hermantown.

Ian Bahr scored his first goal of the season in a four-point outing versus Hermantown.

Nate Clark, whose goal at 3:14 of the middle stanza broke up Hermantown's run, sent the Red Knights into the second intermission with a 5-4 lead when he scored with 6:33 to play in the period.

Jacob Herter, who's goal at 6:29 of the second period tied the score at 4-4, tied the game once again, when he scored with 10:24 to play in the third period and the goal would eventually send the game into overtime.

The Hawks enjoyed a territorial advantage early in the overtime but a turnover behind the Red Knight net allowed Nate Schweitzer to move the puck up the right-wing boards to Kocourek.

Kocourek then made a pass to Dylan Hoen in the neutral and he skated into the Hermantown zone and into the right faceoff circle, between snapping off a shot past Hawks' goalie Austin Hess at the 3:50 mark of overtime.

"It's always great to see your team bounce back from a disappointing game, and we did that today against Hermantown," Pauly said. "Given our great start, I had hoped that we would have shown better discipline and put the game away when we had a chance."

Pauly singled out two players who have been unsung heroes for the Red Knights early in the season.

"It was great to see Matt Kocourek continue to score," he said. "That will be huge for our team.

"Nate Clark deserves special praise for his performance. He's quickly turning into the real deal on defense and I'm very excited for what he brings to our team."

BSM ends its string of six consecutive road games when it returns to the St. Louis Park Recreation Center for the first time in 2017-18, Tuesday, for a 7 p.m. game with four-ranked St. Thomas.