Obermoller’s hat trick leads WorthingtonWORTHINGTON — For one night, everything came together for the Worthington boys’ hockey team. Tyler Obermoller scored a trio of highlight-reel goals, and the Trojans dominated in nearly ever aspect of the game Friday night in a 6-1 victory over visiting Fairmont.
By: Matt Huss, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — For one night, everything came together for the Worthington boys’ hockey team.
Tyler Obermoller scored a trio of highlight-reel goals, and the Trojans dominated in nearly ever aspect of the game Friday night in a 6-1 victory over visiting Fairmont.
Worthington played its best game of the season one night after producing one of its worst performances in an 8-3 loss at Windom.
“We were so disciplined and so controlling of the puck, and that’s exactly what we need to do going through the season,” Worthington coach Gary Brandt said. “We’ve had bits and pieces of it, and (Thursday) night we had none of it, but if we can keep this up, it would be fantastic.”
It seemed like the Trojans could do no wrong, like every bounce went their way.
It started early.
Just 1:38 into the game, Worthington senior defender Jake Smith skated with the puck toward the blue line and fired a hard shot toward the net. Smith admitted that he simply was trying to dump the puck in the zone, but his shot sailed past Fairmont’s goaltender, who was being screened by one of his own players, and into the net.
“Jake’s goal — the one he lobbed up — really was what got things started,” Obermoller said.
Thirty-five seconds later, Obermoller kicked off his incredible offensive display, scoring off a rebound to give the Trojans an early two-goal lead.
“I could’ve asked for that start two games ago,” Brandt laughed. “It was terrific. “We’ve had a couple of starts where we’ve skated hard, but we haven’t had the kind of start where we’ve controlled the puck, knew where the passes were going and had a receiver in position to do something with it.”
Obermoller and the Trojans were just getting warmed up.
With 3:33 remaining in the first period, Obermoller raced into Fairmont’s zone, cut through two defenders, passed the puck to himself by nudging it around a third defender and regaining possession, and fired a wrister into the back of the net.
Fairmont scored five minutes into the second period, and it appeared that the Trojans’ second-period woes were about to continue. But, this time, they had an answer.
Nine seconds into Worthington’s second power play of the game, Obermoller passed to Smith, who fired a slapshot on goal, and junior defender Taylor Wiener slammed the rebound into the net.
“I think Fairmont came back a little faster in the second period, but we just kept coming and coming,” Brandt said. “We played with discipline, and that’s something we haven’t done consistently.”
Two minutes and 55 seconds into the third period, Obermoller put the game out of reach on a seemingly impossible goal.
The senior forward rushed into the zone and was sandwiched by two defenders. He fell to his knees and, while sliding toward the crease, regained possession of the puck and fired a wrist shot into the upper-left corner of the goal.
“That was fun,” Brandt said. “I’m sure the goalie thought, ‘He’s down; there’s no way he’s going to complete anything.’ Then, boom, right into the upper corner.
“He does practice that a little bit.”
Obermoller, who added two assists, finished with three goals — one short of his single-game best.
“I was ready to go,” he said. “We needed a win; we needed someone to step up and put some goals in. You put some goals on the board, and you’d be surprised at how many other people will put goals up.”
Nearly seven minutes later, Mitchell Jensen jumped on the scoring bandwagon.
Jensen, who dished out a number of crushing hits on the night, scored on a perfectly executed give-and-go with Wiener.
The junior forward gained control of the puck in the corner, passed to Wiener, who was positioned behind the net, and raced toward the crease. Wiener’s return pass was perfect, and Jensen gave Worthington a five-goal lead.
“We’ve been working on that every day in practice,” Jensen said.
The Trojans had 57 shots and held Fairmont to 19.
“We were really mad about losing 8-3 (Thursday), so we just wanted to go out there and have a good game tonight,” Obermoller said. “We didn’t want to fall to 1-4 this early in the season, and we just came out and worked hard. We were winning the races to the puck, and that’s what won us the game.”
Fairmont 0 1 0 — 1
Worthington 3 1 2 — 6