Alexandria, MN (Nov. 3, 2021)

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Johnny Van Atta, Director of Hockey Operations

(615) 830-1113 

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The Northstar Knights 16U and 18U teams took on the Des Moines Buccaneers over the weekend.

Brian Morse

The 16U team lost a very close game on Friday night to the #123 ranked Buccaneers. The Knights got out to an early lead as Bauer Berry fed a beautiful stretch pass to Brayden Berg who skated in behind the Buccaneer’s defense and ripped the puck past the goaltender. Des Moines would answer back 3 minutes later on a back door tap into even the score at 1 apiece. The Knights would heavily outshoot the Bucs 39-16 but couldn’t manage to get the puck past the goaltender. As the regulation time ended, the score was still deadlocked 1-1.

The Knights had 2 Power Play opportunities in overtime but were unable to convert on both. Neither team could find the net and the teams entered into a best-of-3 shootout. In the first 3 rounds, Gavin Hruza scored a beautiful shootout goal, however, Des Moines would answer back yet again with a shootout goal of their own. As the game went into sudden death, Tanner Hunt was denied by a great save from the Buccaneers goaltender. Des Moines forward, Padraic Whited, would then finish the game off with a shootout winner to take game 1 of the weekend series.

After the tight game on Friday, the boys came out with a hot start on Saturday as Andrew Leung kicked the scoring off followed by an Alex Klimek goal 45 seconds later. Lincoln Hjelm would then add a 3rd goal in the first period with 8:37 remaining after a net-front scramble that was backhanded through the goaltender. Early in the 2nd period, Lear Voit would jump into the scoring action from an assist from Colten Sell and Leung to put the Knights up by 4. As the period drew to a close, Des Moines would finally find the back of the net off a 2 on 1 rush.

The Knights would go on to allow 2 more goals in the 3rd period but hung on tight to pull out a gritty win. After the game, forward Jacob Lundeen said, “It was tough competition this weekend. They played well but we just didn’t come to play the first game, but in the second game we gave it to them early and we were playing well. We let up a little bit towards the end but we got the win.” The 16U Knights now stand at 16-3-1 for their season record.

The 18U Knights took on a Des Moines team that was ranked #47 heading into the weekend.

After receiving a humbling loss last weekend, the Knights came out with a chip on their shoulders. On Friday, the Knights racked up 7 goals on 50 shots. Cooper Fredericks set the tone when he fired a shot off the top crossbar and into the back of the net just 1 minute into the game. The Knights would add 2 more goals from Reese Laubach and Ashton Christman before Des Moines would answer back with 2 goals. The score would remain 3-2 nearing the midway point of the 3rd period when Nathan Huntington would add a Short Handed goal. At that point, Croal and Laubach would take the game over with some Sports Center Top-10 worthy goals.

On Saturday the 18U Knights built off their Friday night success, winning 8-1. The Knights jumped out to a 4-0 in the first period on goals from Dylan Cook, Carter Olson, Brian Morse, and Jaxon Grosdiddier. A notable 1st-period highlight came from a beautiful cross-ice saucer pass from Ashton Christian that landed perfectly on Grosdiddier’s stick behind the Buc’s defensemen and was able to slot home a breakaway goal. In the 2nd period, the Knights added 3 more goals coming from Cook, Grosdidier, and Olson. Although the Bucs would add a goal, the Knights’ defense would only allow 14 shots for the entire game.

Midway through the 3rd period and the Knights on the Power Play, Mitch Simmons would add the 8th and final goal of the game. After the game, Grosdidier commented about the Knight’s weekend performance saying, “After a tough weekend against Team ND, we just really focused on having a great week of practice and the boys were just confident we were going to do really well. We knew Des Moines was going to be tough so we had to play full 60-minute games. We got two big wins and now we’re just focusing on our upcoming game against Stanstead on Thursday.”

The #3 ranked Knights now own a record of 19-1-0 and are outscoring their opponents 130 to 30 – A 100 goal difference. The Special Teams is also one of the best in the country with their Power Play producing at 34% and PK at 94%.

The 18U Knights will play Stanstead College Prep, a Preparatory School based out of Montréal Thursday night at 6:30 PM. The 18U and 16U Knights will then travel to St. Louis for games against Carshield this weekend.

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