Comeback falls short for WingersPenalties continue to hold back the Red Wing boys hockey team back as it lost 4-2 to Northfield Thursday at the Prairie Island Arena in Red Wing.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Special teams play continues to hold back the Red Wing boys hockey team back as it lost 4-2 to Northfield Thursday at the Prairie Island Arena in Red Wing.
The Wingers (2-3, 0-1 Missota) allowed two short-handed goals and committed five penalties, four of which were not involved in the flow of the game, Red Wing head coach Mike Belisle said.
“Four of them were non-play penalties,” Belisle said. “We want to play a physical style game but we got to stay out of the box. Stop giving teams opportunities to beat us.”
Red Wing outplayed Northfield for the majority of the game, outshooting Northfield 52-36, but mistakes in crucial areas of the ice cost the Wingers the game. Red Wing was 0-for-6 on the power play.
Belisle said taking penalties has haunted Red Wing early this season and for the past two years.
“We’re going to keep growing,” Wingers’ senior captain Mike Stegora said. “We got to keep our head right now, we’re better than that.”
Junior Alex Rezansoff and senior Tyler Grove scored the goals for Red Wing. Senior Marcus Noesen, junior Taylor Hanson and junior Ryan Rehder each had one assist in the game.
Cody Colegrove and Colton Woodruff both had a goal and an assist to lead Northfield.
It was a good start for the Wingers until five bad minutes at the end of the first period put Red Wing in a hole. The score was tied 0-0 until 4 minutes, 51 seconds into the first period when Northfield scored on the power play. The penalty came shortly after a big hit on the Wingers’ Anthony Kimmes behind the Northfield goal. Kimmes received the minor penalty for cross checking. Northfield scored two more goals before the end of the first, the second coming short-handed with 57.6 seconds remaining in the period.
It was a rough end way to go into the first intermission but the Wingers responded in the second period and Rezansoff scored off a rebound with 14:25 left in the period. Red Wing took another penalty at 11:45 but pulled the score to 3-2 on short-handed goal by Grove. Noesen set up the goal when a Northfield defender fell over at the Wingers’ blue line and he attacked the Northfield goalie before putting a beautiful pass on Grove’s stick for the goal.
Stegora also hit the pipe with a wrist shot later in the penalty kill.
Red Wing should have had another short-handed goal with less than two minutes left in the second period when Stegora intercepted a Northfield turnover and led a 2-on-1 with Noesen. This time, Northfield’s Isaak Tjaden was ready and made a sprawling, spectacular glove save on the one timer by Noesen. Tjaden made 50 saves in the game.
Belisle was as impressed with the play Stegora made.
“That was a beautiful play,” Belisle said. “It shows the growth of the team. We don’t make that play last year. Their goalie played well.”
The two teams played to a stalemate in the third period before a hustle play by Northfield’s Woodruff at 4:42 caused a bouncing puck to find Colegrove unguarded in front of Wingers’ goalie Preston Blaney who had no chance of stopping the slap shot from 10 feet away.
A game misconduct to Northfield’s Alexander Morsching for checking from behind gave Red Wing chances in the final three minutes but the Wingers were unable to get the game any closer.
“No big surprises tonight,” Belisle said. “We knew what had happened. They took advantage of a couple opportunities we gave them and that’s how they ended up with four goals.”
The Wingers will attempt to regroup Saturday at home against Hudson but Belisle said he is happy with the progress he’s seeing early in the season.
“After being down 3-0, it could have been very easy to say let’s pack it in,” he said. “It’s a growing thing. You learn in December and win in March and April.”