WHS Boys' Hockey: Worthington shuts out Sioux Center 6-0WORTHINGTON — The motto on top of the Worthington Trojans boys’ hockey team poster for the 2011-2012 team is “Driven by desire…Fueled by sweat.” The posters were given away during “Meet the Trojans” night following Thursday’s game with Sioux Center, Iowa at the Worthington Arena.
By: Lance Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The motto on top of the Worthington Trojans boys’ hockey team poster for the 2011-2012 team is “Driven by desire…Fueled by sweat.”
The posters were given away during “Meet the Trojans” night following Thursday’s game with Sioux Center, Iowa at the Worthington Arena.
The Trojans adhered to that motto against the Storm, drubbing the only team they beat a year ago by a score of 6-0, snapping a six-game losing streak in the process.
“It feels really good to finally get a ‘W’ again once again,” senior captain Ethan Stofferan said following the contest. “Our play was so much better (Thursday) night than any other night. We were forechecking really hard and passing the puck really well in their zone. Everything really worked out for us.”
Indeed, everything did work out for the Trojans as they outshot the Storm by a 47 to 19 margin and won the battle in the faceoff circle by a 38 to 22 margin.
“With the exception of about a three-minute stretch in the beginning of the second period, we did play very complete (Thursday) night,” WHS head coach Pat Christopherson said. “From top to bottom, everybody played well.
Rylan (Scholtes) made some good saves. We only gave up 19 shots and we had 47. The ice was definitely tilted (Thursday) night. It makes the guys feel good.”
From the drop of the opening puck, WHS was in control, keeping the puck in the SC zone and not allowing the visitors much time on the Trojans’ end of the ice.
However, neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the opening minutes but it was the hosts controlling the tempo and getting shots on goal.
In the initial three minutes, Kody Honius, Levi Leach and Jacob Molden all put shots on the Storm net but were turned aside by netminder Cody Vogel (41 saves).
WHS had a prime opportunity to open the scoring following a Scholtes’ save six minutes into the period as the Trojans gathered the puck and turned it into a breakaway.
However, Vogel stonewalled Alex Kremer on the breakaway and Alex Thompson on the rebound chance.
The Trojans continued to pressure the net over the next few minutes and despite having a power play at the eight-minute mark, the hosts were unable to find the back of the net.
That all changed as the opening period approached the four-minute mark.
Following a pass into the slot from the blue line by Seth Meier to Honius, which Honius put on net but was steered aside by Vogel, Leach put gathered the rebound off the SC goaltender and fired it glove side for the a Trojans’ goal with 4:12 left in the first period.
The Storm nearly tied the game two minutes later but WHS goalie Rylan Scholtes made a glove save off a shot from Jared DeYoung to keep the score at 1-0.
Scholtes, who picked up his third career shutout in the game, didn’t face many shots over the course the game and many of them were long shots from the opponent, which the junior netminder was able to gather and pass safely off to his teammates to prevent faceoffs in the Trojans’ end.
“That’s Rylan using his brains,” Christopherson praised of his goalie. “We like that when he combines the skill and the brain. He becomes a very good goalie when he does that.”
Scholtes didn’t face many more chances over the balance off the opening period and WHS was able to stretch its lead to 2-0 with 14 seconds left before the first intermission as Kremer took a shot at Vogel from below the left faceoff circle, which Vogel turned aside with his pads.
Stofferan was there to gather the rebound and buried the puck into the wide-open right side to put WHS up by a pair after one period.
“One thing we worked on all week in practice was crashing the net and getting the rebounds,” Christopherson said. “Feeding the point, getting long shots and taking a gamble down low and it paid off. I would guess that 40 percent of our shots were on rebounds and we were able to get some goals that way, too.”
The score remained 2-0 for the first 11 minutes of the second period as WHS continued to put more pressure on the net than SC.
However, the Trojans broke the wide open as the clock ticked past the six-minute mark.
Stofferan found Kremer in the slot with a pass from behind the SC net. Kremer performed a nifty spin move around a Storm defender, firing a shot past Vogel’s glove with 5:59 to play in the second.
Forty-six seconds later, Sam Mills made a nice pass to Jonah Oberloh, who was parked in the left faceoff circle. Oberloh then rifled a shot past Vogel’s stick to give the Trojans a 4-0 lead.
The Trojans weren’t finished scoring in the second frame, however, as a faceoff won by SC in the WHS end was turned over and quickly became a three-on-zero breakaway for the Trojans.
With Leach leading the break, the junior forward closed in on the SC net from the right side and then deftly passed to Jacob Oberloh, who slammed the puck into the net from the left side of the goal for a 5-0 lead with 47 seconds to play in the second.
WHS added another goal with 10:34 left in the game as Stofferan scored for the second time.
Following a major penalty on SC for boarding at 10:37, Kremer won a faceoff in the SC end and passed to Stofferan for the power-play goal three seconds later to widened the lead to 6-0 and putting the remainder of the contest into running time.
In the contest, WHS successfully killed off both penalties it committed, while SC killed two of its three penalties.
With the win, the Trojans improve to 3-10-1 on the season and return to Southwest Conference play on Saturday when they travel to Morris Benson Area, a team that beat WHS in Worthington on Jan. 7 by a score of 11-3.
“It’s going to be a rough one on Saturday as we go to Morris,” Christopherson said. “They cleaned our clocks a couple of weeks ago, but we are mentally in a better place after this win.”
SC 0 0 0 — 0
WHS 2 3 1 — 6