YOUTH HOCKEY: Trojan Pee Wees finish season 15-8-3
Hutchinson - The Worthington Pee Wee B hockey team went 2-2 over the two weekends of the District 4/5 Pee Wee B tournament in Hutchinson over the February 16-17 and 23-24.
The Trojans defeated River Lakes Red 6-2 and Sartell No. 2 4-1, but lost to Sauk Rapids 4-1 and 2-1.
The Trojans' nemesis in this tournament, the Sauk Rapids Storm, became one of five teams from the District tournament to advance to the regional tournament in Fairmont.
Worthington, the 10th seed in the 22-team tournament, opened the competition with a 6-2 win over No. 21-seed River Lakes Red.
After a slow start when River Lakes scored eleven seconds into the game, Worthington got on the scoreboard with two goals 18 seconds apart later in the first period. Eric Heidebrink scored the first goal off an assist from Davis Moore, while Anthony Fogelman scored the second goal from an assist by O.D. Othow.
But River Lakes scored what would prove to be their final goal of the game to tie the score at two at the end of the first period.
Worthington scored two goals in the second period to take control of the game, and then two insurance goals in the third period to seal the win.
Heidebrink scored the first of these goals in the first minute of the second period with assists credited to Max Carlson and Lance Hibma. Karter Honius then scored a natural hat trick with three consecutive goals. The first came on a power play with an assist credited to Seth Voss. Heidebrink was awarded assists on the final two goals and Carlson on the last goal.
Worthington outshot River Lakes 27-14 over the course of the game, with Sam Fellows making 12 saves in goal for the Trojans.
Worthington battled the seventh-seeded Storm next in the tournament, and dropped a hard-fought 4-1 contest, which was not decided until the last half of the third period.
Worthington, who had defeated Sauk Rapids on its home rink 2-1 earlier in January, opened up the game with a 1-0 lead in the contest in the second minute of the second period when Tom Bauman shot a puck over the goalie's shoulder. Ryan Newman and Hibma earned assists on the goal.
Worthington maintained the 1-0 lead until the fifth minute of the final period, when the Storm tied the game.
The Trojans wore down as the game went on and Sauk Rapids kept the play in the Worthington end for the rest of the game. This paid off when the Trojans' team defensive effort up to that time failed them when the Storm scored three unanswered goals in a minute to win the game.
The Storm outshot the Trojans 24-10 over the course of the game. Carter Ponto made nine saves in goal for Worthington.
The Trojans were outshot 24-22 by the Sartell Sabres but defeated them 4-1 to advance in the consolation bracket on February 22nd.
The Trojans scored three goals in the first period on shots by Moore, Fogelman, and Heidebrink, with an assist to Tom Bauman, to take control of the contest. Fogelman added a second goal in the second period to cap off the Trojans' scoring, off an assist from Voss. Ponto earned the win in the crease for the Trojans, making 23 saves on 24 shots.
Worthington's final game of the season was a hard-fought 2-1 loss to the Storm on February 23rd.
The Trojans scored its only goal in the third period on a shot from Carlson, with assists credited by Heidebrink and Voss.
The Trojans pulled goalie Fellows for an extra skater toward the end of the game but weren't able to get the goal necessary to send the game into overtime.
Fellows made 26 saves on 28 shots. The Trojans scored one goal on 16 shots. The Trojans finished their season with a record of 15-8-3 over the course of the year.
Of the 17 players on the team, 10 will be eligible for playing at the Bantam level next year with seven getting a second year a the Pee Wee level.