Prep boys hockey: Poor start dooms Trojans
WORTHINGTON — Hockey, like many sports, can be a game of spurts. When the flow begins going the wrong way, it can be hard to get it back.
Early in the Worthington Trojans’ high school boys hockey contest with visiting St. Peter/LeSueur-Henderson Saturday afternoon, things started flowing the wrong way for the home team. As a result, the Trojans — playing in their first home match of the 2013-14 season — wound up on the losing end of a 9-4 score.
“We came out all right in the first minute of the game. But we took an early penalty and we seemed to lose our effort,” said WHS head coach Nate Grimmius. “Defensively, we weren’t very good in our defensive zone.”
The Bulldogs outscored Worthington 3-0 in the first period and 4-1 in the second to take a 7-1 lead into the third. Worthington played better in the third period, outscoring the visitors 3-2.
“We couldn’t get things going until the third period,” Grimmius said.
The Trojans, now 0-3, scored their lone second period goal from the stick of freshman forward Tony Lopez with assists from Zach Heidebrink and Alan Olhousen.
Then in the third period junior forward Alex Kremer scored a shorthanded goal with an assist from Andrew Johnson. Junior forward Nick Newman followed with Worthington’s third goal, assisted by Johnson. Finally, Lopez closed the scoring for WHS with his second goal of the game. Johnson recorded a playmaker with his third assist of the game.
St. Peter/LeSueur-Henderson outshot Worthington 40-20 for the game. There were 10 penalties in the game, with Worthington accounting for seven.
On Sunday, Grimmius said the coaching staff “had a good talk inbetween the second and third periods about what kind of team we needed to be.” Mostly, that involved staying mentally sharp and cutting down on penalties.
Throughout the week, the Trojans had worked in practice on staying focused on defense, stressing the mental aspect of hockey and staying out of the penalty box.
“There’s a lot more to hockey than the physical part of it. You’ve got to be mentally strong, too,” Grimmius remarked.
The Trojans will get a chance to show how much they’ve learned from Saturday’s game when they travel to play Redwood Valley on Tuesday.
“One way or another we’ll get it figured out,” said Grimmius. “I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.”
SPLH 3 4 2 — 9
Worthington 0 1 3 — 4