Adapted Floor Hockey: Warriors jump out quickly on Robins
Jake Heikkenen scored most of the goals, but there were plenty to go around Monday at Riverside Elementary in Brainerd.
The senior defenseman scored four goals, including two in the first period, to lift the Brainerd Warriors to a 10-5 North Conference victory over the Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound-Westonka Robins. The victory, according to Warrior head coach Todd Person, should hand Brainerd the No. 1 seed for the North come state tournament time.
"This will pretty much guarantee that we will have the No. 1 seed from the North," Person said. "They (Robbinsdale) were 5-1 in the conference and we were 5-0. Their only loss was to us so to give them their second loss and both coming to us that will pretty much guarantee that we'll be that No. 1 seed, which helped us out so much in last year's state tournament. It's so much easier to have those other teams battle to get to us in that final game hopefully."
Monday was Brainerd's third victory over the Robins this season. Brainerd clipped them 12-4 Jan. 6 and 9-3 Jan. 24. Monday's victory may have been the easiest as the Warriors jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first period and held an 8-2 advantage after two.
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Warriors 10, Robbinsdale 5
- Key: Brainerd jumped out to 3-1 lead after one period
- Conf: Brd 6-0, R 5-2
- Overall: Brd 9-0
- Next: Brainerd at Maple Grove 4:30 p.m. Wednesday
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Heikkenen got things rolling early as he scored with less than a minute clicked off the clock on an assist from Jacob Elias.
Matt Allord pushed Brainerd's lead to 2-0 before Heikkenen made it 3-0 with a score off the faceoff.
"We struggled a little bit with scoring early when we played Robbinsdale on their home floor," Person said. "It was a much tighter game than this one was so it was nice to get some kids out. This was also Cody Vleck's first game back, being able to play again, since he was injured in the initial tournament we had down in Rochester. It was good just to get Cody back out on the floor and I think that shows how strong we are when we get those three seniors out there spreading the floor.
"Then we get guys like Matt, Blaise (Edinger) and Tre'Von (Otey) coming in to spell them."
Brainerd continued building early moment in the second as Heikkenen reached a hat trick with a power-play goal at 14:25. That goal was followed by goals from Vleck and back-to-back scores from Blaise Edinger.
Allord finished with four assists and Otey added three assists.
"With the quality of players that we have up front right now we've moved to bringing everybody up into the zone, which we haven't done in previous seasons," Person said. "They've just done a nice job of moving and finding those open spots. We've got our head up when we we've got the puck down low and we're seeing what's out there. I just don't think other teams are used to seeing that."
After Robbinsdale's Vincent Luu cut Brainerd's lead to 7-2, Tate Boelter gave Brainerd a five-goal lead with a shot off an assist from seventh-grader Will Ingram.
"We are really fortunate when we do bring in guys in off the bench we don't see a big drop," Person said. "We're still a fast team that way. They make quality passes. The shots that they're getting are off good looks. It's promising for the future."
The Robins rallied with two goals early in the third, but Boelter picked up his second goal with 3:21 left and Heikkenen tallied an insurance goal with seven seconds remaining to keep Brainerd perfect at 9-0.
Karlee Schuler made 11 saves as Brainerd outshot the Robins 30-16.
Brainerd's Feb. 19 home game has been moved to Feb. 28. That will be the final home game for the Warriors.
Robbinsdale/H/M-W 1 1 3—5
Brainerd 3 5 2—10
First period: Brd-Jake Heikkenen (Jacob Elias) 14:02, Brd-Matt Allord (Cody Vleck) 10:28, Brd-Heikkenen 7:31; R-Vincent Luu (Calvin Gerdt) 4:24
Second period: Brd-Heikkenen (Allord, Vleck) ppg 14:24; Brd-Vleck (Heikkenen, Allord) 13:59; Brd-Blaise Edinger (Tre'Von Otey, Allord) 13:59; Brd-Edinger (Allord, Maddox Canon) 10:10; R-Luu (Gerdt) 4:16; Brd-Tate Boelter (Will Ingram) 1:01
Third period: R-Luu (Gerdt) 12:21; R-Brendan Bosker-Elliott (Sam Roles) 8:46, Brd-Boelter (Otey) 3:21; R-Gerdt (Jordan O'Donnell) ppg 2:35; Brd-Heikkenen (Vleck, Jacob Heinlen) 7.1
Shots on goal: Brd 8 14 8—30, RHMW 3 5 8—16
Goalies: Brd-Karlee Schuler (11 saves); RHMW-Hayley Engebretsen (20 saves)