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TROJAN BOYS HOCKEY: Johnson, Oberloh score in WHS loss

Jordan Willi/Daily Globe The Trojans' Andrew Johnson (6) shoots the puck on net past the outstretched stick of Flyers' Nick Magera during a boys hockey game Friday in Worthington. Johnson scored a goal on the shot.

WORTHINGTON -- Andrew Johnson and Jacob Oberloh each scored a goal for the Trojans in Worthington's 9-2 loss to the Sioux Falls Flyers in boys hockey Friday night at the Worthington Arena.

Johnson opened the game's scoring at 5 minutes, 17 seconds of the first period off a Nick Newman assist for a 1-0 Worthington lead.

"I was a little concerned after (Thursday's) heart-breaking overtime loss at Redwood (Valley) and how we would come out (against Sioux Falls)," Trojans head coach Nate Grimmius said. "We came out well. I was hoping for a little bit better result, but you can't complain when you put the first one on the board. That's what we are about is setting the tone early. We just couldn't keep that intensity the rest of the game."

On Johnson's goal, Newman led a breakout of the Trojans' zone and passed from right to left as he crossed center ice to Johnson. Johnson corralled the pass near the Flyers' blue line and fired a shot past Sioux Falls goalie Josh Jackson as he approached the top of the left face-off circle.

"It was a good play on both ends," Grimmius said of Worthington's opening score. "The cross-ice pass was excellent and the shot was excellent, as well. It just clicked there."

Flyers head coach Bruce Abels said slow starts are something his squad needs to overcome. Sioux Falls improved to 22-6-1 with the win.

"We got off to a slow start (Friday)," Abels said. "We've been having some issues coming out the way we need to in the first period and that is something we need to take care of in the next month."

However, the Trojans were unable to maintain their edge as Sioux Falls went on a power play 3 minutes after the Trojans' goal and Wyatt Nielsen provided the equalizer midway through the man-advantage following a failed Trojans' clearing attempt. The Flyers cycled the puck well through the Trojans' zone and Nielsen beat Worthington goalie Rylan Scholtes with assists to Ben Czarnecki and Lucas Mutschelknaus at 9:10.

Sioux Falls claimed the lead for good at 11:20 following a pair of Worthington penalties (a minor for delay of game and a 5-minute major for checking from behind) that gave the Flyers a 5-on-3 power play. Nielsen passed between the circles to Mutschelknaus and the Sioux Falls defender fired a shot past Scholtes' glove for a 2-1 lead.

Brextyn Burnette extended Sioux Falls' lead to two goals 1 minute later despite the visitors taking a penalty of their own to make it 4-on-4 hockey. Nick Goetsch assisted Burnette, who went glove-side from the right circle at 12:19.

The score remained 3-1 to end the initial 17 minutes and a penalty was assessed to Sioux Falls to end the frame, which Worthington capitalized on 28 seconds into the middle period.

With the Trojans on the power play, Jacob Oberloh lifted the puck from behind the Flyers' goal and a deflection cut the lead to 3-2.

Sioux Falls answered 82 seconds later when Nielsen scored his second marker with heavy pressure in the Trojans' zone. Brandon Appeldorn helped set up the Flyers' fourth goal and then extended the Sioux Falls lead with an unassisted goal at 4:15 of the second period with a wrist shot from the slot.

"We still have a lot of work to do, but we are clicking and getting the puck deep," Appeldorn said. "We are finishing when we have to. We just had to settle down (early in the game) and play our game."

Worthington received scoring chances as Oberloh hit the right pipe a few minutes later and Levi Leach and Newman each put shots on goal late, but the Trojans were unable to close the gap any further.

Sioux Falls added four goals in the third period to finish the game's scoring as Czarnecki scored off a Cody Solma assist at 1:40, Appeldorn scored his second goal off a Nielsen assist at 2:51, Parker Dawes cleaned up a rebound off Alex Purdy (who replaced Scholtes in net following the sixth Flyers' goal) at 4:15 and Caleb Anderson made it 9-2 at 5:28 with another assist to Czarnecki.

"Their goalie (Rylan Scholtes) played pretty well," Appeldorn said. "But we eventually cracked the seal and the goals came after that."

Scholtes finished with 26 saves on 32 chances, while Purdy stopped 8 of 11 shots in relief. Jackson earned the win for Sioux Falls, making 16 saves on 18 opportunities.

Despite the loss, the Trojans fared well on faceoffs, winning 25 draws against 24 for the Flyers.

"We've been working pretty hard (on winning faceoffs) this week in practice," Grimmius said. "Winning faceoffs can get you good scoring opportunities right off the draw in the offensive zone.

"We worked on that a lot and I think we got on the same page. We showed it (Thursday night) when we played Redwood Valley and we got a lot of good opportunities right off of offensive faceoffs with some quality shots. It just wasn't clicking for us (Friday night) as well as it did (Thursday)."

Kody Honius, who fired a shot on goal that was stopped in the game's final minute, won 13 of the 17 faceoffs he took in the game.

Worthington finished the regular season with a record of 3-15-0. Seeding for the Section 3A boys hockey tournament will be released next week, which will determine the Trojans' next opponent.



Sioux Falls (22-6-1) 3 2 4 -- 9

Worthington (3-15-0) 1 1 0 -- 2


First Period: 1. Worthington, Johnson (Newman), 5:17; 2. Sioux Falls, Nielsen (Czarnecki, Mutschelknaus), 9:10 (pp); 3. Sioux Falls, Mutschelknaus (Nielsen, Czarnecki), 11:20 (pp); 4. Sioux Falls, Burnette (Goetsch), 12:19 Penalties: Johnson, Worthington (Tripping), 8:20; Heidebrink, Worthington (Delay of game), 9:54; Honius, Worthington, major (Checking from behind), 10:33; Honius, Worthington, game misconduct (Checking from behind), 10:33; Appeldorn, Sioux Falls (High-sticking), 12:06; Anderson, Sioux Falls (Roughing), 17:00.

Second Period: 5. Worthington, Oberloh (Unassisted), 0:28 (pp); 6. Sioux Falls, Nielsen (Appeldorn), 1:50; 7. Sioux Falls, Appeldorn (Unassisted), 4:15. Penalties: None.

Third Period: 8. Sioux Falls, Czarnecki (Solma), 1:40; 9. Sioux Falls, Appeldorn (Nielsen), 2:51; 10. Sioux Falls, Dawes (Schipper, Czarnecki), 4:15; 11. Sioux Falls, Anderson (Nielsen), 5:28. Penalties: None.

Shots On-Goal: Sioux Falls 18-15-10--43; Worthington 6-8-4--18.

Power-Play Opportunities: Sioux Falls 2 of 3; Worthington 1 of 2.

Goalies: Sioux Falls, Jackson, 18 shots, 16 saves. Worthington, Scholtes, 32 shots, 26 saves; Purdy (2:40 third), 11 shots, 8 saves.