Bulldogs chew up Cardinals in icy tilt
FAIRMONT — During the summer, Belle Plaine, Cleveland, LeSueur-Henderson, Tri-City United and St. Peter combined to form one hockey program, making the Minnesota River Bulldogs.
In their sixth game as a program, the Bulldogs had seven different players score, three of whom had their first as varsity players, in a 10-3 win over the Fairmont Area Cardinals on Tuesday night.
Sophomore forward Brock Olson scored his first varsity goal in the first period, while senior forward Josh Schwarz and sophomore forward Tristen O’Brien made their varsity scoring debut in the third.
Olson’s first-period goal, with the assist from Emil Akerman, was the final of the period for a 3-1 Bulldogs’ lead. Ironically, the Cardinals struck first, scoring 45 seconds into the opening frame.
Fairmont Area forward Sam Mensing used a pass from forward Tom Havnen to deliver the opening goal for the early 1-0 lead.
From there, the Bulldogs scored three unanswered goals, two of which came from Danny McCabe. The junior defender used a round-the-back assist from junior forward Jade Reicks to knot the game at 1-all with 12:41 to go in the frame.
McCabe then cashed in a pass from junior forward Tyson Sowder a minute later.
“We have a habit of — well, that’s twice now, I should say — scoring the first goal and kind of letting it fall apart after that,” Cardinals head coach Kris Olson said. “Coming out early in the game hasn’t been the issue. It’s just the sustaining part.”
Junior forward Lane Schwarz then had a two-goal period, scoring the first and third in the frame with assists from junior defender Ken Ringler and McCabe, respectively.
Mensing scored again for the Cardinals at the 13:02 mark, rebounding Havnen’s shot, but Sowder restored the three-goal lead three minutes later.
Lane Schwarz’s final goal of the period at the 9:01 juncture made for a 6-1 game heading into the third period.
O’Brien’s power-play goal and Josh Schwarz’s short-handed score marked a four-goal period for the visitors. Senior forward Matt Plieseis assisted on Josh Schwarz’s goal. Sowder was the catalyst, scoring with 14:52 left in the game.
Down in Bulldogs’ territory, sophomore defender Shawn Lehtinen passed the puck up to Sowder, who took it all the way down the ice. Cardinals senior goalie Colby Kuhl rejected Sowder’s first attempt, but Sowder’s second effort was more successful for a 7-1 game.
Akerman had his second assist of the night on sophomore forward Kendrick Wilking’s goal.
Eighth-grade forward Hudson Artz used an assist from senior defender Matt Kotewa to score the Cardinals’ final power-play goal of the night with 1:29 left in the game.
The Cardinals also returned junior forward Tanner DeWar, who was out due to injury, to the starting lineup.
“He’s just a good all-around player. He can fill in wherever you need him to,” Kris Olson said.
Fairmont Area (0-3) plays at Waseca on Thursday.
NOTE: The Fairmont Hockey Association will hold Military Salute Night before the Cardinals girls hockey game at 7 p.m. Thursday at Martin County Arena.
Admission is free for veterans. Fairmont American Legion Post 36 and Fairmont VFW Post 1222 will provide the color guard and presenation of colors. Dr. Scott Burtis will sing the National Anthem.
FA 1-1-1– 3
FA — Sam Mensing (Tom Havnen), 16:15.
MR — Danny McCabe (Jade Reicks), 12:41.
MR — McCabe (Tyson Sowder), 10:01.
MR — Brock Olson (Emil Akerman), 5:41.
MR — Lane Schwarz (Ken Ringler) 13:19.
FA — Mensing (Havnen), 13:02.
MR — Sowder (unassisted), 10:36.
MR — Lane Schwarz (McCabe), 9:01.
MR — Sowder (Shawn Lehtinen), 14:52.
MR — Tristen O’Brien (unassisted), pp., 13:52.
MR — Kendrick Wilking (Akerman), 7:46.
MR — Josh Schwarz (Matt Plieseis), short, 5:05.
FA — Hudson Artz (Matt Kotewa), 1:29.
Shots on goal: Minnesota River 27-20-12–59; Fairmont Area 7-8-6–21.
Saves: Colby Kuhl (FA) 24-17-4–45; Gunner Domine (MR) 6-7-5–18; Tyson Geerdes (FA) x-x-4–4.
Penalties: Fairmont Area 5 for 10 minutes; Minnesota River 3 for 6 minutes.
Power-play chances: Minnesota River 1-for-5; Fairmont Area 0-for-3.
Worthington 3, Fairmont Area 0 — The Trojans scored all of their goals in the third period to complete their shutout against the Cardinals during Big South Conference action Tuesday night in Worthington.
Ashton Fogelman scored a power play goal 6:33 into the third period and an even strength goal four minutes later. Kessy Aljets, assisted by Brynne White, scored the final goal for the Trojans 13:12 into the last period.
Trojans goalie Bailey Kruse made 15 saves to record the shutout victory. Emily O’Connor made 27 saves for Fairmont.
Worthington led with 30 shots on goal for the night.
Fairmont Area (0-7) hosts Minnesota River at 7 p.m. Thursday at Martin County Arena.
W — Ashton Fogelman (unassisted), pp., 6:33.
W — Fogelman (unassisted), 10:28.
W — Kessy Aljets (Brynne White), 13:12.
Shots on goal: Worthington 13-7-10–30; Fairmont Area 9-5-1–15.
Saves: Emily O’Connor (FA) 13-7-7–27; Bailey Krusse (W) 9-5-1–15.
Penalties: Worthington 5 for 10 minutes; Fairmont Area 3 for 9 minutes.
Power-play chances: Worthington 1-for-3; Fairmont Area 0-for-5.