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Lifelong Learning

Fast-skating Spuds take down Roseau and St. Cloud Cathedral in two boys hockey home games

January 31, 2019

Moorhead played its biggest rival, the No. 16 rated Roseau Rams, Jan. 22 at the Moorhead Sports Center. The Rams defeated Moorhead 6-2 in Roseau earlier this season. This was the rematch, and the No. 15 rated Spuds knew the victory would require a complete team effort.

Moorhead was down 0-1 heading into the third period. Then the fireworks started with the Spuds scoring four goals to Roseau’s one. It was the game the Spuds expected, the win would be earned by playing hard and playing tough.

Playing scoreless through almost 12 minutes of the first period, Roseau opened up the scoring. With a feed from behind the net, the Rams hit the top shelf of the net for a power play goal.

The Spuds came out fast and hard in the second period, dominating the play as the puck spent most of its time in the Roseau zone. But Moorhead kept coming up wide or short and was unable to score.

Moorhead settled down in the third period, and some serious scoring followed. Nolan Westra blocked a shot at the blue line, raced to the puck, and streaked down the ice to score one over the goalie, tying the game just 39 seconds into the period.

Three minutes later, with the Spuds on the power play, Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe put the Spuds up by scoring a goal on a rebound. Then at nine and a half minutes into the third, a shot by Cullen Gess put the Spuds up by two.

Roseau retaliated and scored again on a power play at the 13:27 mark. Then, when Moorhead got another penalty at 1:58 remaining, Roseau put on the pressure. But with Gess blocking shots out front and a Hudson Hodges save, Moorhead held off the Rams’ flurry.

At 47 seconds remaining, the Rams pulled their goalie and put six Rams on the attack in Moorhead territory. It was not enough as Kyler Kleven stole the puck at the blue line and scored an empty netter to seal the 4-2 Spuds victory over their rivals with 22.8 seconds remaining.

With the win the Spuds snapped Roseau’s 11-game winning streak. Westra, Luke Gramer, Carter Johnson, and Tommy Horan all had an assist on the night, and Hodges saved 17 shots on goal.

On Jan. 26 Moorhead faced another Minnesota powerhouse — Class 2A’s high-scoring No. 2 rated St. Cloud Cathedral (17-2). Other than their loss against Hermantown, the Crusaders had outscored their opponents 101-23. In the Jan. 26 game, Moorhead came out fast, controlled the puck, and dominated the play throughout most of the game, winning 5-2 over the Crusaders.

Kyler Kleven scored first for the Spuds on a rebound of a Nolan Westra shot that was fed by Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe late in the first period. Less than two minutes later Westra and Kleven orchestrated a near perfect 2-on-1 with Westra scoring. The Spuds led 2-0 going into the period break.

Moorhead came out to start the second period still skating hard, scoring two more goals within an 18-second stretch early in the period. Lukas Feir scored off a redirect of Maccoy Gregoire’s shot, and Westra scored his second goal of the game again with an assist from Kleven. St. Cloud Cathedral scored on a power play late in the second period to bring the score to 4-1.

In the final period, Tommy Horan scored on a deflection of a Luke Gramer shot from the point at the 4:23 mark. Gramer got the assist. St. Cloud Cathedral added one more goal in the last minutes of the game.

Hudson Hodges had 18 saves for the Spuds while Moorhead had 24 additional shots on the St. Cloud Cathedral goal. As of Jan. 28, Moorhead is 13-6-1 for the season, and 7-1-1 in the last nine games.

The Spuds play at home against Warroad at 6 p.m. Feb. 2, and they play at St. Cloud Tech on Feb. 8. The Spuds will play Brainerd for their final home game at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Moorhead Sports Center. Their final regular season game will be against Hill-Murray in Maplewood on Feb. 16.

Photo: Moorhead’s Kyler Kleven pulls the goalie out of position then feeds a perfect pass to Nolan Westra who knocks the puck into the near open net during the Jan. 26 game against St. Cloud Cathedral at the Moorhead Sports Center. The Spuds defeated the Crusaders 5-2. Photo: Bill Grover

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