Boys Hockey: Spuds avenge overtime loss to Brainerd
MOORHEAD--Moorhead Spuds sophomore defenseman Ethan Frisch didn't mince words when asked what it felt like to lose to the Brainerd Warriors in overtime in December.
MOORHEAD-Moorhead Spuds sophomore defenseman Ethan Frisch didn't mince words when asked what it felt like to lose to the Brainerd Warriors in overtime in December.
"It was a terrible feeling," Frisch said. "We came out of there knowing we should have beat that team. It was a big section rival and those are games we have to win. I don't think we prepared for that last game good."
The No. 19-ranked Spuds were prepared Tuesday, Jan. 17, rolling Brainerd 4-1 at Moorhead Sports Center. It helped not to have vegetables flying at them before the game started, as is tradition at Brainerd.
"It was definitely a tough loss," said Moorhead left winger Carter Randklev, who finished with a goal and two assists Tuesday. "It's rough losing to section teams, especially ones that are usually close and you hope to beat. Their building is always a tough place to play at and some of that stuff got in our heads, with them throwing potatoes on the ice. It was good coming out here and taking it back to them."
Moorhead (11-3-2) opened the scoring when Frisch blew by everyone and went top shelf less than five minutes into the game.
"I think we just came well prepared all around," Frisch said. "I think we're starting to come together. We're all fighting for each other now. It's coming down to that part of the season where we've got to stand up for our brothers out there and win those tough games. That's what's pushing us harder right now."
A stretch pass from Mitch Andres found the stick of Mason Kruse, and Kruse went backhand to forehand to beat Moorhead goalie Lance Leonard with 7 minutes, 15 seconds, left in the first.
"Frankly, at the beginning of the year, I don't think we knew how to prepare yet," Moorhead coach Jon Ammerman said. "We had the skill, we had the talent, but when we're not ready and we start on our heels, any team can get off to a fast start. We were playing catch up the whole time (the first time the teams played).
"We're healthy, which is a good thing, so that changes things. We're just playing more aggressive. We're closing our gaps much better. We're playing up the ice."
A puck squirted out of the Moorhead zone and with a head of steam, Cole O'Connell took it and blew by everyone for a backhander 44 seconds into the second to get the lead back for the Spuds.
Randklev walked the puck from the right circle to the slot and fired in a wrister for a power-play goal to put the Spuds up 3-1 with 9:13 to go. Less than four minutes later, the Spuds executed a 3-on-2 to perfection and Jacob Holtgrewe fired top shelf for a 4-1 cushion to all but seal it.
The win pushed the Spuds to 5-0-1 in their last six.
"We've just kind of been clicking as a team lately," Randklev said. "We've been taking more pride in wearing the 'M' on the jersey. We know that playoffs are going to be a tough grind, and we don't want to lose sections again."
Moorhead 1 1 2-4
Brainerd 1 0 0-1
First period: M-Ethan Frisch (Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe) 4:11; Brd-Mason Kruse (Mitch Andres, Billy Kendall) 9:45
Second period: M-Cole O'Connell (Carter Randklev, Carson Kosobud) 0:44
Third period: M-Randklev (Kyler Kleven, Carter Howell) ppg 7:47; M-Jacob Holtgrewe (Parker Dronen, Randklev) 11:21
Shots on goal: Brd 16, M 30
Goalies: Brd-Colin Kleffman (26 saves); M-Lance Leonard (15 saves)
Section: Brd 3-4-0. Overall: Brd 8-7-1. Next: Sartell at Brainerd 7:15 p.m. Thursday.