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St. Michael-Albertville displays offensive prowess, picks apart North Branch

By Heather Rule, SportsEngine, 12/20/17, 12:00PM CST

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Adam Flammang’s hat trick helped the Knights beat the Vikings.

St. Michael-Albertville defenseman Garrett Sandberg skates the puck out of the corner of the Knights' zone with North Branch forward Cody Croal in pursuit during the first period. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

St. Michael-Albertville defenseman Garrett Sandberg skates the puck out of the corner of the Knights' zone with North Branch forward Cody Croal in pursuit during the first period. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

St. Michael-Albertville sophomore winger Adam Flammang already had a pair of back-to-back hat tricks in this young season. He added a third in a 9-1 victory over Mississippi 8-rival North Branch (7-2-0, 1-2-0) on Thursday night.

“Tonight’s goals were just a little bit of luck,” said St. Michael-Albertville coach Jerr Johnson. “Which when you’re a goal scorer and things are going your way, you get to have some of those bounces.”

Flammang and the Knights (6-1-0, 2-0-0) were dominant from the start, scoring a pair of goals just 33 seconds apart with about three minutes gone in the first period to go up 2-0. Flammang’s first tally was the second of those two goals.

When Flammang shoots the puck, it usually ends up in the back of the net, Johnson said.

After leading 3-0 after the first, Flammang kept the pressure on with a goal 2:34 into the second. By the 8:24 mark of that frame, he had his hat trick and gave the Knights a 5-1 lead.

“He’s always on the puck,” Johnson said. “We were kind of giving him a hard time, that he could’ve had a few more tonight, too. You don’t have to stop at three.”

Flammang leads the Knights with 11 goals and 14 points this season. His other hat tricks came Dec. 2 and Dec. 7 in wins against Burnsville and Rogers. He’s also registered points in every game but one this season.

Senior winger Zach Sjelin also scored a pair of goals. He has four goals his last two games and five for the season. His first goal put the Knights up 3-0 with 16.9 ticks remaining in the first period. He tapped in a rebound into the open net after a scramble in front when the goalie thought he had the puck covered.

“I just got in a soft area, and the puck came right to me, and I put it in the back of the net,” Sjelin said. “Crashing the net hard has been where I have been scoring.”

Sjelin was also pleased to see his team grab that early lead, since they’ve struggled to put the puck in the net in the first period the past couple games, he said.

Jordan Drobinski, Riley Ollhoff, Cole Lehmann and Lane Berning also scored goals for the Knights. They were a constant presence around the North Branch net as they buzzed around the offensive zone.

“That’s what we talked about this week, too, is that we just wanted to get to the blue paint,” Johnson said. “We did score a couple on the rush, and that is what we’ve talked about in practice, too.”

The Knights, who started the season with four straight victories, continued their offensive dominance; they’ve scored at least five goals in each game this season, minus an 8-0 shutout loss to Holy Family. They’ve outscored opponents 37-18.

The Knights also dominated the shots-on-goal count, 46-13. However, they went to the penalty box seven times, giving the Vikings plenty of power-play time, including some 5-on-3 action. The Knights were perfect on the penalty kill.

It was just the second loss of the season for the Vikings, a team that rattled off five consecutive wins to start the season. Senior Cody Moline, who came in with multi-point games all season, scored the lone goal for the Vikings to make it a 4-1 game in the middle of the second period with a goal off a faceoff, but Flammang completed his hat trick 1:23 later to keep the momentum.

First Report

St. Michael-Albertville sophomore winger Adam Flammang already had a pair of back-to-back hat tricks in this young season. He added a third in a 9-1 victory over Mississippi 8-rival North Branch (7-2-0, 1-2-0) on Thursday night.

Flammang and the Knights (6-1-0, 2-0-0) were dominant from the start, scoring a pair of goals just 33 seconds apart with about three minutes gone in the first period to go up 2-0. Flammang’s first tally was the second of those two goals.

After leading 3-0 after the first, Flammang kept the pressure on with a goal 2:34 into the second. By the 8:24 mark of that frame, he had his hat trick and gave the Knights a 5-1 lead.

Flammang leads the Knights, who are ranked No. 18 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll, with 11 goals and 14 points this season. His other hat tricks came on Dec. 2 and Dec. 7 in wins against Burnsville and Rogers. He’s also registered points in every game but one this season.

Zach Sjelin also scored a pair of goals. He has four goals his last two games and five for the season.

Jordan Drobinski, Riley Ollhoff, Cole Lehmann and Lane Berning also scored for the Knights.

The Knights, who started the season with four straight victories, continued their offensive dominance; they’ve scored at least five goals in each game this season, minus an 8-0 shutout loss to Holy Family Catholic. They’ve outscored opponents 37-18 this season.

The Knights also dominated the shots-on-goal count, 46-13. However, they went to the penalty box seven times, giving the Vikings plenty of power-play time, including some 5-on-3 action. The Knights were perfect on the penalty kill.

It was just the second loss of the season for the Vikings, a team that rattled off five consecutive wins to start the season. Senior Cody Moline, who came in with multi-point games all season, scored the lone goal for the Vikings.

In goal, senior Justin Damon made 11 saves for the Knights while senior Trevor Mellen stopped 37 pucks for the No. 20-1A Vikings.


St. Michael-Albertville sophomore Adam Flammang (11) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his third goal Thursday night. The Knights rolled to a 9-1 win over visiting North Branch. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

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