Sam Nelson couldn't keep Maple Grove off the board forever
The Maple Grove Energy overcame a stellar performance from Minnesota Owl goaltender Sam Nelson to squeak out a 4-3 win at home on Sunday night. In a battle of first versus worst, the outcome was an easy victory for the Energy. It would be anything but easy, as the Energy would have to come from behind in the third period to win this one. Kendall Bolen-Porter shined, scoring two goals, including the game-winner, and getting the number one star of the game.
Maple Grove started off well and actually dominated the first period. It all started when Gavin Smith got a piece of a Christian Smith shot from the blue line. Nelson would get a piece of it, but not enough from stopping the shot from trickling through for the game's first goal. Eric Ylitalo and Kendall Bolen-Porter worked well together to get the second goal, with Ylitalo serving up KBP nicely on a rush. The period eneded with a 2-0 Energy lead and a sizeable edge in shots at 21-8.
In the second period the script was flipped. The Owls got their first goal off the power play in a play that looked like Brian Anderson got screened by his own man. Stephen Kelly got the goal for the Owls. Then it was a great individual effort by Zach Foesch to get a turnover in the Energy zone and go top corner on Anderson to tie it up at two. The Owls also had a slight shot advantage, 13-12, in shots for the second period.
The Owls would take the lead for the first time in the game at the 9:40 mark when Foesch swept in a loose puck in front of the Energy net. This had the Isanti fans going nuts. The Energy would tie this game up at 12:47 of the period when a Matt Benolkin shot was redirected by Eric Ylitalo, beating a very game Sam Nelson. Five minutes later it would be a three on one rush finishing with Gavin Smith feeding KBP for the game winner. That goal with 2:12 left would give Maple Grove a victory and keep the winning streak alive at four straight games. The Energy fought through a heck of a game from Sam Nelson, who has given the energy trouble in the past.
To see the game sheet, go here.
The Energy get 12 days before returning to action December 20th at home against the Edina Lakers.
A dog fight early on, but Maple Grove outlasts the Blades
The Maple Grove Energy had to come storming back from down 3-1, but managed to get a 5-3 win over a tough Steele County team on Friday night in Maple Grove. The Energy were sparked by a three goal outburst in the second period that was done in about six and a half minutes. Zach Larson was able to shut down the Blades, by not allowing a goal after the 1:30 mark of the second period. Travis Ricci and Logan Hulse each had a goal and an assist to lift the offense. The win gives Maple Grove a five point lead over second place Dells in the Minnesota division.
The Energy got off to a good start when Travis Ricci was able to get to a loose puck in front of the net and slip it past Blades goaltender Kenny Eakles. The lead would dissolve thanks to multiple power play opportunities by Steele County leading to two goals. The result would be a 2-1 deficit after the first period. The Blades also outshot the Energy 10-6.
The second period started off rough as well. Early in the period, at the 1:30 mark, Brandon Mills finished off a nice rush for the Blades, putting them in front 3-1. Things stayed like that until the 12:10 mark when Eric Ylitalo ripped a nasty little wrist shot into the top corner, beating Eakles and cutting the lead to one. Austin Hill followed that with a wrister of his own to tie it up at three. The third line would even get into the action in the last half of the second period. Jake Lichty crashed the net and popped one over Eakles to give Maple Grove their first lead since early in the first period. With four goals, the Energy still trailed in shots, 23-14.
In the third period, the Energy would fight through two game ejections, as Jake Lichty and Martin Danielcak would hit the showers early for a elbow and check from behind. The penalty kill rose to the challenge and killed off all the penalties including a five on three that lasted a full two minutes. The Energy got an insurance goal on the power play from Logan Hulse to end the game and secure the two points.
With the win the Energy bring their record up to 22-7-1, while Steele County dropped to 8-13-1. The Energy now have a three game win streak.
Next up is another home game against the Minnesota Owls on Sunday night at 7pm.
Gavin and Zach know practice makes perfect
The Maple Grove Energy were happy to announce their players of the month for November 2013. Gavin Smith, the team's leading point getter, got the offensive player nod. For the defensive side, goalie Zach Larson got the award. Smith tallied 11 points during the month of November, including a three assist effort against Rochester on November 1st. Larson had three wins in the month, including a 41 save effort against the Ice Hawks on the first of the month. Here are a few questions wer asked Zach Larson about his recent performance.
MGE- Is there a routine or any special prep you do before each start?
Zach Larson- I really don't have any one or few things I do before my starts. I try and get a good night sleep the night before, eat good that morning and just go through what I need to do to be successful in my head.
MGE-What is one thing you pride yourself on with your game?
ZL- I try and pride myself on challenging shooters to make myself big.Being a smaller goalie I have to make myself look big. I try to also control all my rebounds and make it easier on my defense because they already do a great job.
MGE- Is there a healthy competition between you and Brian Anderson?
ZL- I love Ando. Him and I have become really really close. In practice we always push each other to be the best. We're always trying to point out things to each other that are good and also stuff we can work on. I want him to do well every start he gets and I know he wants the same for me. I Can't say I've had a better goalie partner then Brian.
Here is a few questions we asked Gavin...
MGE- Not only did you score quite a bit in November (11 pts.) but you have been scoring consistently throughout the year. How do you stay so consistent?
Gavin Smith- The reason I have been so consistent is because my line mates have been helping me out to get to the right spots and get points.
MGE- Is there anything you have learned this season to bring your game up?
GS- I have learned that I need to work hard every day every shift and every game to make sure our team can win.
MGE- What is one thing you take pride in in your game?
GS- The thing I take pride in my game is playing with all my linemates and get along with all of them.
Congrats to both of our players of the month, they did outstanding in their month of November!
The Maple Grove Energy had their hands full with a very game Hudson team on Saturday night, but prevailed in a shootout. Chanhassen's Cody Vanhournot clinched the game in the seventh round of the shootout by slipping one past Hudson's Matt Goedke, giving the Energy a 2-1 win in the shootout and a 3-2 win. The victory and the two points that go with it means the Energy leapfrog Dells for the top spot in the Minnesota division of the MNJHL.
Maple Grove started off well in this one. Austin Hill put in a rebound off of a Travis Ricci shot for the game's first goal at 9:35 of the period. Jake Lichty was able to do the same late in the period with Blake Babineau getting the lone assist. With the Energy off to a 2-0 lead, things looked to be in the bag. Brian Anderson was also looking sharp in net as usual.
The script flipped in the second period. Hudson took advantage of a few power play chances and were able to climb back into the game. Luke Bing put in rebounds in both power play goals at 14:42 and 17:05 to tie the game at two. Shots were also tied after two periods at 19 a piece.
The third period was to be the deciding period...or was it? Both teams had their chances on the power play, but both goalies seemed to make save after save like they were challenging each other. So we would then head to overtime.
Overtime would remain as tight as the third period. There were no goals once again, sending it to a shootout.
In the shootout Austin Hill got one in as the first shooter of the Energy, giving Maple Grove a quick 1-0 lead. Hudson would tie it up with Nick Smallidge getting one in the third round. It wasn't until the 7th round when Cody Vanthournot finally got one past Goedke to give Maple Grove the extra point.
To see the score sheet, go here.
Maple Grove is in action next on December 1st to face the Northern Lights in Bloomington. The next home game is December 6th against Steele County.
Another close one with these two teams
The Maple Grove Energy and Twin Cities Northern Lights played shot for shot on Friday night, but it would be third period penalties that would prove to be the difference in a 2-1 loss. Maple Grove never led, although they had their chances, but another stellar performance by 'Lights goalie Paul Ciaccio kept them off the scoreboard.
The first period had a fast and flowing pace to it. It seemed like the game was in running time, with few whistles. There would be no scoring, but there was good end to end action. Zach Larson got the start in net and looked sharp early on, shutting down the Northern Lights chances. The Energy had a small 9-7 advantage in shots after the first period.
In the second period the Northern Lights would get on the board first. Brandon Beard struck early in the period when he put a hard wrist shot into the upper corner past the glove of Larson. Six minutes later the Energy would answer back. Travis Ricci jumped on a rebound off of a Austin Hill shot and put it past Ciaccio. It would remained tied at one after two full periods.
The the final period, a slew of penalties were called on the Energy. Maple Grove had two penalties through two periods of play, but had seven called on them in the third period alone. The Northern Lights power play looked very pedestrian, but they had enough chances and finally got a power play goal. Andrew Bergquist tallied the game winner for the Northern Lights with just 3:37 left in the game. After another penalty was called on the Energy, coach Don Babineau had had enough and let the ref have it which lead to his ejection. The Northern Lights finished the game with a five on three power play.
Both teams finished with 28 shots for the game. To see the boxscore, go here.
The Energy are back in action tonight, hosting the Hudson Crusaders. Game time is 7pm.
A narrow victory in exciting fashion
The Maple Grove Energy never had the lead, but still managed a win in a game that went to a shootout. The Energy overcame a huge game from goaltender Brandan Alcorn and a two goal deficit early on to get the two points and move to the top of the standings.
It was a different team that came to play when the Ice Hawks came to town Sunday night. Rochester came out a bit more tempered and wanting to conserve energy. Their pace paid off in the form of two goals within two minutes of each other in the middle of the period. Ludo Duncko and Trey McMillen put pucks past Brian Anderson from near point blank range to put the Hawks up 2-0. Austin Hill would answer for the Energy when he put a wrister past Alcorn :23 after Rochester had got their second goal. The Energy dominated the shots on goal, 18-8, but it was Rochester who had the lead at 2-1 going into the first intermission.
Rochester got the lead back up to two when Nikolas Marconcini put a quick shot past Anderson right off the faceoff. The energy would answer back quickly again. This time Vlad Makorevych would answer in just over a minute with his 12th goal of the season. Later in the period, Blake Babineau would tie the game when he put one in the top corner on the power play. The Energy would again dominate the shoes in the period, leading 15-4 for the second period.
The third period seemed to favor Maple Grove as well, and would again in the shot department. Alcorn would continue to keep Rochester in the game with his stellar play and move this game to overtime.
In overtime, Rochester looked to be the fresher bunch earlier on and gave pressure on Brain Anderson. Both teams would end up hitting the post in the five mintues overtime period, giving the fans some serious 'oooh's and ahh's', but no goals. It would be decided by a shootout.
Gavin Smith had a highlight worthy, Sports Center type goal and Matt Benolkin finished off the Hawks with the last shot of the fifth round to give the energy the win.Brain Anderson was also very sharp in the shootout, giving up just one goal to the five shooters. The streak is now at seven straight wins and 13 straight games with at least one point.
To check out the box score, go here.
The Energy get a little break before returning November 22nd to host the Northern Lights.
Talent in black and yellow
The Maple Grove Energy were happy to announce the players of the month for the month of October. Austin Hill is the defensive player of the month, while Austin Burt gets it as the offensive player.
Burt, from Minnetonka, collected six points during the month including a game-winner over Steele County on 10-12. We asked him a few questions about him and his rise to stardom with the Energy:
MGE- How long did it take for you to adjust to the MNJHL? How different is it from High School?
AB- To adjust to the MNJHL it took a little while because the style of play is much different from high school hockey. The play is more physical and not as much finesse with the puck as it was in high school.
MGE- When did you think you really started gelling with your linemates (Gavin Smith, Blake Babineau)?
AB- With my new line mates we were able to play well with each other and understand how each of us play pretty quickly.
MGE- Is there a team you really get up to play in the MJ?
AB- Not really. I pretty much look at every game as just being the same because they're all worth two points.
Austin has started quickly in November as well, scoring five goals in the first three games of the month. Watch out for this guy!
Austin Hill, from Savage, is a big guy at six foot two, but isn't all about physical play. He racked up six points in October including one game winner the night before Halloween. here is what he had to say about his success in the MNJHL...
MGE- You lead the team in points for defenseman(16). Do you like to focus on your offense?
AH- Everything starts in the defensive zone, keeping pucks out of the net is the most important thing. If you can't play good defense you aren't going to win many games. As a defenseman though I do like to jump up in the play and get offensive when I have the opportunity.
MGE- You also seem to keep your nose clean with only 10 penalty minutes for the whole season. Is staying out of the box something you pride yourself on?
AH- I do take pride in staying out of the box. I have seen many times players take stupid penalties that hurt their teams’ chances to win. I also feel that I put myself into positions that don't make me have to draw a penalties.
MGE- What is one thing you want the fans to know you for?
AH- If I would want the fans to know one thing about me is that when I go out and play hockey I try and have the most amount of fun as possible. I like to put a smile on my coaches and teammates face.
Hopefully you got to know the players of the month a little better. Keep up the good work guys and stay tuned for the newest player of the month in early December!
Maple Grove was able to take Rochester's best punch in the first period and then went on to pummel them the rest of the way en route to a 8-2 victory on Friday night. Zach Larson fending off the buzzing Ice Hawks for a period and then let the offense take over. This wild contest included one fight and four game ejections. The Energy now have at least one point in their last eight games(7-0-1) while the Ice Hawks would lose their fourth straight game.
Rochester was on a mission in the first period and came out with great energy, but Larson was up to the task between the pipes for Maple Grove. Larson would face 21 shots in the first period, allowing just one goal off a rebound. Maple Grove would answer the Ludo Duncko goal with a one time blast from defenseman Matt Benolkin. The period ended up 1-1, but the shots heavily favored Rochester, 21-9.
The second period would be owned by Maple Grove. The period started off well as Blake Babineau was able to redirect a Benolkin shot past Corey Grummick and into the back of the net. Benolkin then got his second goal of the night as a Austin Hill shot was redirected in front. Austin Burt would then add two goals of his own, one off a rebound from a Gavin Smith breakaway and then another just :17 later. The Energy would carry a 5-1 lead into the locker room, while Rochester never made it to the locker. Coach Fatis made the team stay on the bench during the second intermission. Grummick was also pulled with six minutes left in the period in favor of Brandan Alcorn.
Rochester would start off hot in the third period with a power play goal from Duncko, but that would be as close as they got. Maple Grove would add on three more goals, including a hat trick goal from Benolkin and Cal Campion's first goal in junior's. A Brady Devescovi power play goal would finish up the scoring for the night.
It was a chippy game with Vlad Makorevych getting into a fight with Rochester's Dan Trageser. Both would be ejected. The Energy also had Martin Danielcak ejected for a check from behind and Travis Ricci and Austin Burt tossed in bizarre calls from the ref in an attempt to regain some order.
Larson would get his eighth win, stopping 41 of 43 shots for the Energy. The Energy are on the road tonight in Edina and then have a stop in Bloomington on Sunday to wrap up the weekend.
The win gives Maple Grove a record of 14-6-1 and the loss drops Rochester down to 9-3-2 and down to fifth place in the MNJHL.
To view the boxscore, go here.
Two of the top teams in the MNJHL locked horns on Sunday night with the Energy hosting the Twin Cities Northern Lights. Two of the best goalies also locked horns, going save for save all the way to a seven round shootout. The end result was a crowd pleasing game, but not the finish the hometown crowd was looking for with the Energy losing 2-1 in a shootout.
The first period went at a furious pace. Maybe a bit surprising we would see that with both teams going on their third game this weekend, but it was a good flow. The Northern Lights seem to be get the offensive chances early on, but Brian Anderson was once again on his game. The Lights would finally break through on the power play. Max Techendorf was camped out in front of the net and easily put the puck in when the initial shot went off the pads of Anderson and right to Techendorf. The Lights would outshoot the Energy 15-7 in the opening period.
The pace would slow considerably in the second period. Maple Grove would get some nice chances, but goalie Paul Ciaccio was up to the task. The Energy would also get two chances on the power play in the second, but couldn't put anything past Ciaccio. The game would stay 1-0 after two periods, but the Energy had a 10-4 shot lead in that period.
In the third period, the Energy tried to get the game tying goal, but had to fend off a few power play chances from the Northern Lights. The would come down to the final minute, when the Energy pulled Anderson for the extra attacker. The move worked as Travis Ricci would tap one in just before the net was knocked loose. The came with just :23 left on the clock, as the crowd went nuts. Overtime would be played at Maple Grove Community Center for the first time this season.
In the overtime period the Energy looked like the far fresher team. The Energy had numerous chances in overtime and seemed to have the puck in the Lights zone for most of the five minute overtime. There was a shot that went off the post as well for the Energy. No goals were scored and we would go to a shootout.
In the shootout, neither team would score in the first five rounds. The Lights would score on their sixth and seventh tries and Austin Hill would get his to go on the sixth, but the last shot fell short for the Energy. A 2-1 shootout loss would be the result. Brian Anderson finished the game with 30 saves, but looked outstanding. Ciaccio had 32 saves for the Lights and was equally outstanding.
The Energy look to keep their six game unbeaten streak alive as they travel to Hudson on October 30th.
Maple Grove got their fifth straight win
The Maple Grove Energy piled on 50 shots to overwhelm the visiting Edina Lakers and come away with a 6-2 win on Saturday night. Nick Kazmierczak made 44 saves for Edina in a losing effort and Vlad Makorevych tallied a hat trick to lead the Energy. The win puts the Energy on top of the standings in the Minnesota Division with a two point lead over the Dells Ducks.
Things started quickly when Tanner Lydon got the Lakers on the board just 1:57 into the game. The quick start would not panic the Energy. Makorevych would net two goals within 1:17 to give the Energy the lead. The lead grew to 3-1 when Gavin Smith took the feed from Blake Babineau on a two on one and put it past Kazmierczak. The goal was a short handed tally with just :44 left in the period.
In the second period, it would be Edina jumping out quickly again. Bryan Grigorian would not miss on a breakaway chance to shrink the lead at 3-2 just 3:03 into the period. The Energy would not answer until late in the period when Makorevych would get his hat trick on the power play. That goal would come at 19:26.
The Energy would pull away in the third and leave no doubt. Travis Ricci netted his fifth goal on the season and then Brady Devescovi blasted one in on the power play to give Maple Grove the 6-2 win. Zach Larson would get the win for Maple Grove, stopping 18 of 20 shots.
The box score can be found here.
The Energy will wrap up the weekend with a Sunday night game against the Twin Cities Northern Lights at the Maple Grove Community Center. Game time is 7:00pm. We hope to see you there!
Goalie battle anyone?
The Maple Grove Energy got a weekend sweep by defeating the Minnesota Owls on Sunday night at the Maple Grove Community Center. The Owl's came in with just three points in their first 12 games, but played with plenty of determination and grit. Newcomer Sam Nelson gave the Energy fits, but they did get four pucks past him in a 4-2 win.
Both teams were playing the third game of the weekend, but there was no signs of fatigue in this spirited contest. The Owls would strike first when a Kyle Wagner quick turnaround shot found the back of the net and surprised starting goalie Zach Larson. It would take the Energy less than five minutes to answer when Gavin Smith used a backhander to beat Nelson for his eighth goal of the season. After one period, Maple Grove held a 14-8 shot advantage.
A rather mundane start to the second period finished in a flurry of chaos. It would be the Owls who would take the lead again at the 11:56 mark when Max Sund scored his first goal of the season. Five minutes later the Energy would answer back. Austin Burt walked in close and beat Nelson off a back-hander tying the game at two. The chippy play, especially around the crease of the Owl's goal, would trigger a fight at the end of the period. Vlad Makorevych would drop the gloves Ladd Simonson near the end of the second period after the Owl's took offense to Makorevych buzzing the tower of Sam Nelson and knocking him off his skates.
Maple Grove took control in the third period and took their first lead of the game when Brady Devescovi blasted a shot from the point through traffic past Nelson. The power play goal was a much needed boost to the team going forward. It also might have been the nail in the coffin that the Owls have come to expect. Vlad Makorevych added a insurance goal at 15:53 to give the boys and coach Don Babineau a sigh of relief.
To check out the boxscore, go here.
Zach Larson made 20 saves in the 4-2 win, while Sam Nelson made 39 saves in a losing effort. The Energy have another three game weekend coming up with a visit to Rochester and then two home games.
The Maple Grove Energy used two goals late in the second period to help propel them to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Hudson Crusaders on Friday night. Brian Anderson stopped 31 of 32 shots to best Hudson goalie and MNJHL Player of the Month Matt Goedeke, who stopped 28 shots of his own. Maple Grove defeated Hudson by the same score when these two teams met the last time.
The first period was quiet by all accounts on the stat sheet, but there was plenty of good end to end action. No scoring and zero penalties, but excellent flow and a foreshadow of the tight game it would be. Shots were very close at 7-6 in favor of Maple Grove.
Things remained scoreless until the Energy got their first power play. A bouncing puck could not be cleared and ended up on the stick of Travis Ricci. He would feed Sam Terres, but Goedeke denied the first shot. Ricci would get the puck back from the Terres shot and feed Vlad Makorevych for a one-timer that would not be denied. The power play goal came with just 3:39 left in the period. The Energy would double their lead when an Austin Hill shot from the point was redirected past Goedeke by Gavin Smith. Anderson had to make a great save at the end of the period to keep the score in tact at 2-0.
The Crusaders wouldn't go away that easy and did cut the lead to one with a pretty play from Dennis Andersson. He would set up Luke Bing for a one-timer down low to beat Anderson through the five hole. The score would hold even though Hudson did everything to tie it up in the last minute plus of the period. Goedeke was pulled for the extra attacker, but Maple Grove held strong to take away a hard earned victory. The victory stopped the Energy's three game skid and also put a halt to the Crusaders three game win streak.
Check out the boxscore here.
The Energy are back in action Saturday night to face the Steele County Blades in Owatonna and then come back home Sunday night to host the Owls.
The Maple Grove Energy announced their Players of the Month for the month of September. First year player Kendall Bolen-Porter was named Offensive Player of the Month and Brian Anderson the Defensive Player of the Month. The two players helped Maple Grove jump out to a franchise best 7-3 record to start the season.
Bolen-Porter has eight goals (which is a team high) and 14 points (tied with Vlad Makorevych for the team lead) to go along with four power play goals and four game winners. I had a chance to ask him a few questions about his early season success and here is what he had to say:
MGE- You have scored 14 points in your first 10 games. What is one reason for your fast start?
KBP- I have two great line mates (Gavin Smith , Austin Burt) that always seem to know where I am on the ice. Also, just having the mindset to Score every night.
MGE-How has coach Babineau influenced your game?
KBP- Coach has shown me ways to simplify my game and become good in all three zones.
MGE-What is it like being a smaller guy in the MNJHL?
KBP- It's hard at times being smaller against some of the bigger guys, but I don't think about it to much, I just try to play my game.
Brian Anderson seems to have started where he left off last season. Anderson was one of the stars that helped the Maple Grove Energy make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history last season and is off to a 2-0 start this year. Anderson allowed just one goal in a vicotry over the Steele County Blades and also shut out the Owls in Isanti. Anderson has stopped 63 of the 67 shots he has faced so far this season. Here is a few questions we asked him about his start this season:
MGE- You are off to a fast start once again, with one shutout and a 2-0 record. Who or what do you credit your great start to?
BA- I credit my great start to my teammates. Are team is off to a great start and hopefully we will keep it rolling.
MGE- Brian, you had such a great season with the Energy last year, do you think that magic has carried over to this year?
BA- Sure I do. I think the team has set high goals for this season as well as for everyone's individual goals. We have a good chance to go far this year.
MGE- Do you get competitive with the other goalies on the roster? Do you guys compare stats and take notes on each others performances?
BA- Yeah we compete hard against each other in practice and push each other to do better. I wouldn't say we compare stats with one another but we are all competitors and help each other perform at a high level.
Keep an eye out around the first of every month to find out the new offensive and defensive players of the month right here on energyhockey.com
The Energy got their first home win of the season
The Energy scraped their way to a hard fought and well earned victory on Friday night over the Steele County Blades. Although the Blades came into this game with an 0-6 record, no one left the building believing they were actually as bad as the record might indicate. The Energy had to rely on solid goaltending from Brian Anderson and a late game winner from Kendall Bolen-Porter to come away with the 2-1 victory.
The Energy had a chance to move into a tie with the Dells Ducks for first place with a win on the night. The first period didn't tell much. A handful of penalties and a few scoring chances resulted in zero goals. Blades goalie Adam Ranck also came prepared to play and put up a tough fight in this game. The Energy would outshoot the Blades 8-6 in the period.
The tie game would end quickly in the second period as Tristyn Sabina walked right in and made a nice move on Anderson to get the games first goal. The lead held until Travis Ricci tied the game on a shorthanded goal with just five seconds left on a Blades power play. Ricci had passed up on a shorthanded chance earlier, but made up for that by beating Ranck on the wrister. Ricci made several individual plays on the game that helped the Energy get this win. The Energy had a 25-17 lead in shots to end the second period.
In a third period that went back and forth, the Energy would get the last say. The third period had that feel that the team who scored next would win the game...that prediction would hold true. Kendall Bolen-Porter was able to find the back of the net with just 8:29 left on the clock to give Maple Grove their first lead of the game. The Energy were able to keep the puck in deep for much of the last two minutes and secure the win. With the win on Friday and their 2-1 win on Saturday night, the Energy moved into first place with a 7-3 record.
For the box score, go here.
The Energy now have a great chance to shake up the standings even more and exact some revenge as they play the Dells Ducks for three straight games at Poppy Waterman Arena. The next home game will be October 11th.
The home opener turned out to be funner than a water park at the Dells, but the outcome was not what the fans wanted on Friday night. Ian Harris had two third period goals, one an empty netter, to sink the Maple Grove Energy at the Community Center and give the Ducks a 3-1 road win.
The Ducks were able to strike first at 6:45 mark when Ian Wood was able to walk right up and get an up close shot at starting goaltender Zach Larson. Wood snuck it in just under the glove hand to give the Ducks the lead, 1-0. The Energy were able to get a few power play chances to try and tie it up, but were unsuccessful.
The Energy would tie it up on a power play when Sam Terres was able to knock in a bouncing puck which look like it may have been helped in from a Duck stick as well. The power play goal was sixth goal on the season for Terres. That would be the only offensive highlight as the two goaltenders went to war. Robert Meadows was up for the challenge for the Ducks and would shut down the Energy on many good chances.
The third period just didn't seem to go the way of the home team. The Energy were given many power play chances, but could not convert. The Ducks special teams were not part of the game until Harris got a short handed break away and was able to beat Larson to give the Ducks the lead again. It's a lead the Ducks would not give away. Harris put it out of reach in the last minute of play with an empty net goal while the Ducks were on the power play. A hard fought game that had the Energy on the wrong end. These two teams will meet again when the Ducks come back to Maple Grove this Sunday at 7pm.
The Dells Ducks visited Maple Grove for the second time in three days and left town with two wins. Friday's contest was very competitive, but Sunday's tilt seemed to get away from the Energy. The Ducks sent goalie Zach Larson to the showers early en route to a 7-3 victory. With the win, the Ducks are now in sole possession of first place in the Minnesota division.
The first period seemed to be a carbon copy of Friday night's first period. It was evenly matched period, but a sneaky Joey Bower goal left the Ducks in front. Bower's goal caught larson off guard, as the quick turnaround shot found it's way to the back of the net. Maple Grove would still outshoot the Ducks in the period, 10-9.
The second period is when the wheels really came off for Maple Grove. Things were looking up to start the period when Cody Vanthournout tied the game at 2:57. That tie would not last long, as Ian Wood would answer just :43 later. The Ducks then tacked on two more goals, both coming on the power play, to put some distance between the two teams. A timeout and a change in net were the next moves for coach Don Babineau, hoping to turn the tide of the game. However, Brian Anderson wouldn't fare much better, giving up a power play goal just 1:35 after being put in. The goal barrage put the Ducks up 5-1 to end the second period.
Maple Grove wasn't ready to throw in the towel just yet, and scored right away to start the period. A penalty that had carried over from the second period had the Energy on the power play to start the third period and Kendall Bolen-Porter converted. The goal came at :15 of the third period, giving Maple Grove the start they needed. Austin Burt converted another power play for Maple Grove a little more than six minutes later to bring the Energy to within two goals of the Ducks. That would be as close as they would get. The Ducks would answer with two goals by Daniel Roe and Ian Wood to finish out the game. It was a disappointing outcome, but it's hard to be critical of a team playing the last game of a four game stretch.
Maple Grove will be back home this Friday and look to bounce back against the winless Steele County Blades.