Boys Hockey: Red Wing's all-around effort downs ChanhassenRed Wing’s special teams were the difference maker Tuesday night against Chanhassen at Prairie Island Arena.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing’s special teams were the difference maker Tuesday night against Chanhassen at Prairie Island Arena.
The Wingers went 2-for-2 on the power play and killed off three penalties while also scoring shorthanded to down the Storm 3-2.
“It won the game for us tonight and that’s what we’re going to need,” said Red Wing head coach Mike Belisle.
Anthony Kimmes scored the game-winner shorthanded for the Wingers on a breakaway with a gorgeous deke of the Chanhassen goaltender 2 minutes, 2 seconds into the third period. Kimmes, a defender, showed the stickhandling abilities he used to display as a forward with Red Wing.
“I was just thinking about the move I always do in practice and it worked,” Kimmes said. “He was a tough goalie but we slid a couple past.”
The Wingers (3-16-2, 3-6-2 Missota) outshot Chanhassen 51-33 as Harlin Paradise made 48 saves for the Storm.
Ryan Rehder tallied Red Wing’s first goal at 10:47 of the first period on the power play, deflecting a shot from the point by Michael Bigelbach. The Wingers controlled the puck in the zone throughout the power play, putting multiple good chances on net.
But that positive momentum was squelched 34 seconds later as Jake Bever scored to tie the game at 1-1 with an assist to Luke Rongitsch and the scored remained tied into the first intermission.
The second period started terribly for Red Wing as Chanhassen’s Logan Wilkinson took advantage of a turnover at the Wingers’ blue line and deposited the puck in the top corner of the net for a 2-1 lead 49 seconds into the period.
“That was a nice shot,” Belisle said. “That’s going to happen. It’s better now than (in section play).”
Again, Red Wing’s power-play team tied up the game on a goal in the slot by Taylor Hanson at 8:13 of the second period. Alex Rezansoff received an assist on the play.
Excluding the first minute of the second period, the Wingers dominated the second period, outshooting the Storm 17-7.
The third period also had an ominous beginning for Red Wing as Dylan Goggin went to the box for interference 45 seconds into the period. But little more than a minute later, Kimmes settled a loose puck, strode into the offensive zone and delivered the game winner blocker side.
“It was a good come-out game for him,” Belisle said of Kimmes. “(The seniors) are starting to really realize this is the winding down of their senior season.
“It’s a ‘W’, that’s the big thing,” Belisle added. “Right now that’s huge for us, for what we’re looking to piece together for sections and just for morale. We know we can win those types of games.”
The Wingers outmuscled the Storm to numerous pucks with a stellar forecheck and did a great job of playing physically without committing penalties Tuesday night.
“Everybody’s starting to play together and play as a tough team,” Kimmes said. “You pressure them and they gave up the puck a little bit. That’s how we’ve got to play.”
Belisle said it was a great 5-on-5 game for Red Wing despite the special teams getting all the credit.
“There’s that whole confidence, belief thing that’s starting to snowball into all aspects of the game,” he said. “You have to say, ‘Yeah, we can play this good all the time.’”
Next up, Red Wing will face Shakopee Thursday on the road before hosting fifth-ranked (1A) Hermantown Saturday at Prairie Island Arena.
“It’ll be a good challenge for us,” Belisle said of playing Hermantown. “Everyone’s feeling that confidence, hopefully we can carry momentum into Thursday and on Saturday.”