TROJAN BOYS HOCKEY: Second-period explosionWORTHINGTON — Scoring a trio of goals in a span of less than two minutes late in the second period Thursday night, the Luverne Cardinals broke away to claim a 9-2 victory over the Worthington Trojans in a Southwest Conference high school boys hockey game.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Scoring a trio of goals in a span of less than two minutes late in the second period Thursday night, the Luverne Cardinals broke away to claim a 9-2 victory over the Worthington Trojans in a Southwest Conference high school boys hockey game.
Luverne’s Toby Sengvongxay scored two of his three goals 13 seconds apart during that quick three-goal flurry, helping the Cardinals (1-0) win their season opener.
Jonny Solma and Skyler Wenninger each netted two goals for Luverne, while Chaz Smedsrud and Jordan Dingmann also contributed with a goal for the Cardinals.
“We have a lot to work on, but it was nice to get a win in the first game of the season,” Luverne co-head coach Tony Sandbulte said. “We were able to take advantage of a penalty on Worthington there late in the second period and got the momentum swung in our direction.”
Worthington, which is now 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference, scored a pair of quick goals of its own midway through the second period to tie the game at 2. Jacob Molden and Jacob Oberloh both found the back of the net — 21 seconds apart — to spark the Trojans.
However, a 5-minute major penalty on the Trojans put the Cardinals on the power play a bit later. That’s when Luverne took control and suddenly built a 5-2 lead.
“That was definitely a game-changing sequence that went against us,” Worthington head coach Nate Grimmius said. “We played pretty well throughout the first period and then also for much of the second period. But a few mental mistakes proved to be costly for us.”
Luverne outshot Worthington by a huge 63-18 margin and seemed to be on the attack for the majority of the game. The Cardinals scored the only goal of the first period when Smedsrud (Wenninger assist) knocked in a rebound shot at the 7:20 mark.
Trojans’ goalie Rylan Scholtes was stellar in net during the opening frame, stopping 17 of the 18 shots that came his way. He thwarted many of the scoring chances that Luverne created with several solid saves.
The Cardinals, though, extended their 1-0 lead to 2-0 when Wenninger corralled a loose puck and scored an unassisted, short-handed goal on a top-shelf shot with 13:02 remaining in the second period.
Worthington countered with a pair of power-play goals, both of which came on 5-on-3 opportunities due to a five-minute major penalty on Luverne. Molden (Alex Kremer assist) scored a goal with a slap shot from the blue line to make it 2-1 at the 10:03 mark.
Then, just 21 seconds later, Oberloh punched in a goal with a shot from the middle off a successful faceoff won by the Trojans. Kremer and Nick Newman were credited with assists on the play, as Worthington tied the game at two with 9:42 on the clock.
“That was an exciting stretch for us,” Grimmius said. “We got those two goals back-to-back like that and found ourselves in contention with a tie score.”
The score remained tied until the 4:37 mark, as Luverne used the power play in its favor. Sengvongxay scored a goal from the left side on assists from Austin Maxwell and Gunnar Olson to put the Cardinals up 3-2.
Still with a man advantage due to the five-minute penalty, Luverne suddenly went up 4-2 just 13 seconds later. And again, it was Sengvongxay scoring — deflecting a shot by Wenninger (assist) into the net — with 4:24 to go.
Sengvongxay also had a hand in the Cardinals’ next goal, recording an assist —along with Olson — when Solma scored with a shot from the blue line. That put Luverne up 5-2 with 2:48 left in the second period.
“That five-minute penalty is a huge deal, as it keeps a team on the power play for the entire five minutes,” Sandbulte said. “We were fortunate enough to score a few goals during that time, which certainly helped flip the momentum back in our favor.”
Luverne maintained a 5-2 lead going into the third period and added four more goals to cruise to a 9-2 win. Logan Norman’s assist to Wenninger for a goal made it 6-2 with 11:25 remaining in the game.
Dingmann (Maxwell assist), Solma and Sengvongxay also scored late goals, as the Cardinals stayed in command to secure the win.
Both teams return to the ice for conference games Tuesday. Worthington hosts Redwood Valley, and Luverne hosts Marshall.
Luverne 1 4 4 — 9
WHS 0 2 0 — 2