Stegora finds scoring touch in rout of ShakopeeSHAKOPEE - The Red Wing boys hockey team coaching staff held player interviews prior to the Wingers’ game with Shakopee Wednesday and when Mike Stegora’s interview took place both Stegora and coaches agreed he needed to have more of an impact offensively.
By: Nick Gerhardt, The Republican Eagle
SHAKOPEE - The Red Wing boys hockey team coaching staff held player interviews prior to the Wingers’ game with Shakopee Wednesday and when Mike Stegora’s interview took place both Stegora and coaches agreed he needed to have more of an impact offensively.
Stegora responded with a three-goal game to help lift Red Wing (4-4, 1-1 Missota) to an 8-3 victory in Shakopee.
“It’s really big,” Red Wing head coach Mike Belisle said of Stegora’s performance. “He was a little concerned about his offensive output.”
Stegora, a senior captain and center, had just two points through the first seven games of the season. Last season he led the team with 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) but hadn’t scored a goal since Dec. 10 against Fergus Falls.
Stegora wasn’t the only one scoring goals for the Wingers. Red Wing had breakaway goals, a shorthanded goal, a power-play goal, a rebound goal, and any variation between that it seemed. The Wingers outshot the Sabers (2-7-1) 32-21 and controlled play from the drop of the puck.
“We did what we should do against a young and inexperienced Shakopee squad,” Belisle said.
Doing what Red Wing should involved establishing the forecheck early. The Wingers did so with the junior line of Ryan Rehder, Alex Rezansoff and Taylor Hanson. Each player recorded a goal on that line and it started with Hanson scoring less than two minutes into the game.
Shakopee tied it with a power-play goal, but Rezansoff, Stegora and Marcus Dodge scored goals to give Red Wing a 4-1 lead at the end of the first period.
The Wingers added to the lead in the second period with a goal from Stegora, Rehder and Tyler Grove to make it 7-1.
Stegora’s second goal came after a scary moment on the ice. Junior Anthony Kimmes was taken out of the arena on a stretcher following a collision with Shakopee’s Zak Hoffman near the Red Wing bench. Kimmes skated toward the bench following the hit and then fell behind the bench when he tried to climb over the boards. Kimmes hit his head on the ice and trainers attended to him. Belisle said Kimmes felt some numbness, but it appeared he would be fine.
The Wingers took on a slew of penalties again, but that wasn’t as big of a concern for Belisle with the win.
“When’s the last time we’ve scored eight goals,” Belisle asked rhetorically.
Red Wing scored 13 goals last season in a 13-1 victory over Mankato East/Loyola to open the Section 1A playoffs, but averaged just 2.78 goals per game. This season, the Wingers have already had four games with five or more goals scored.
Preston Blaney made 18 saves for Red Wing in the win.