Huskies clip Red Wing 5-2 on Hockey Day Minnesota
In the opening minutes of the Owatonna boys hockey matchup against Big Nine Conference foe Red Wing Saturday, it appeared that there was still some linger effects from the crushing 5-4 loss to Rochester Century Thursday. After allowing a goal late in the first period, the Huskies needed to respond.
And respond they did.
Powered by a trio of goals in the second period – two of them coming from senior Carter Broton – the Huskies (7-7, 4-3 Big Nine) topped the Wingers 5-2 on Hockey Day Minnesota 2017 at the Four Seasons Centre.
“The way they bounced back was what I was more impressed with in the second period,” commented Huskies head coach Josh Storm. “They dominated the heck out of that period. They (Red Wing) couldn’t skate with us.”
Despite being on the penalty kill after Nate Smith was assessed for a two-minute minor penalty for hooking, Owatonna’s aggressive attack kept its intensity. Every time a Winger’s player entered the Huskies’ zone, they were swarm, often being dislodged from the puck or were forced to try and make a nice move to create an open shot. After creating a turnover in the neutral zone, defensemen John Swenson fired a quick wrist-shot that skipped just under the glove of the goaltender to tie the game 1-1.
When Owatonna’s defense managed to force yet another turnover in the neutral zone, Broton wrist-shot just beat Zachariah Harding’s glove on the breakaway at the 4:54-mark of the period to quickly tilt the ice in Owatonna’s favor. The senior’s would then display his fast hands, putting a pair of fancy moves on Harding just minutes later to score the game-winner minutes later, giving the Huskies a commanding 3-1 lead.
“We’ve been struggling on breakaways all year and for him to make that pretty of a move, I’m truly just impressed with it,” added Storm.
When a pair of minor penalties was assessed on Red Wing toward the end of the second period, the Huskies started the third period with a 5-on-3 advantage for just over a minute. Tyler Wencl needed just 33 seconds.
Quickly establish a presence in the offensive zone; Wencl quickly snapped a wrist-shot that would beat the blocker of Harding to extend Owatonna’s lead 4-1. Red Wing answered nearly a minute later to pull the game back within two, but the physical play of the Huskies appeared to start to take its toll.
The Wingers struggled to establish any attack in the third period, often clearing the puck out of the zone. As Red Wing started to slow down, the Huskies’ attack continued to increase.
“It’s nice when you have a two-goal lead to be able to hold them down on their end,” Storm noted afterward.
After maintaining the puck in the offensive zone for nearly a minute, Wencl was able to control and deflected puck only to turn and connect on his second goal of the game at the 15:37-mark of the period, sealing the win for Owatonna. Huskies goalie Ryan Johnson was strong between the pipes for Owatonna. Despite allowing a pair of goals, the junior goaltender stopped 20 of Red Wing's 22 shots on goal.
With the win, the Huskies return to .500 on the season and pick up a much needed win in the conference heading into Monday’s showdown with Faribault.