WORTHINGTON -- Seven is the lucky number for the Worthington boys hockey team.
The last time the Trojans hosted a playoff game was seven years ago.
It’s been seven years since they won a postseason game.
And on Tuesday night, seven second-period goals broke the streak.
Worthington scored early and often in the opening round of the Section 3A boys hockey tournament to earn an 11-4 victory over Redwood Valley.
“It feels good,” WHS senior Zach Ahrenstorff said. “It’s been a while since we beat a team this bad. We put it to them this time.”
Just 12 days ago, Redwood Valley earned an overtime victory in Worthington. But Tuesday was a different story.
“At the end of the day, it probably ended up being a good thing they beat us a couple weeks ago,” WHS head coach Tyler Nienkerk said. “It knocked us down a little bit and they knew they had to come ready to work. I couldn’t be more proud, especially since we started with a ton of energy. The crowd was phenomenal. For them to come back right away and get those three, for us to come right back out in that second period with the same energy and forgetting they had come back was just a really good job by the guys.”
On Tuesday, Zach Ahrenstorff made sure WHS got off to a good start.
“Last time we went into it thinking we had the game,” he said. “We were too cocky going into it. But this time, we went in there ready to play and got our minds right. We got it done.”
Just one minute, 23 seconds into the game, Ahrenstorff gave the Trojans a 1-0 lead. Kipton Jenson scored and Blake Luinenburg added one as the Trojans led 3-0 early in the first period.
“That really got the momentum going,” Ahrenstorff said. “I was pretty excited about scoring my goal and seeing my buddies score theirs, that’s always a good feeling.”
However, the Cardinals answered in a big way. Mason Clark scored three times in 52 seconds -- including two in a span of six seconds -- to tie the game at 3.
“I think just like last game, I think that we just got too ahead of ourselves and got too cocky and just stopped working hard. That’s what happens when you stop working hard, they score goals,” Ahrenstorff said. “We obviously came off the ice not very happy with how the first period went. But we went in there and got out stuff together and calmed down because we were too riled up. That definitely helped.”
While RV closed the first period with a flurry, the entire second period was an offensive clinic for Worthington. Blake Ahrenstorff (twice), Colby Nickel, Konner Honius, Luinenburg, Zach Ahrenstorff and Andrew Benson scored as WHS led 10-3.
“I’ve never been in something like that before, seven goals in one period. It felt great,” Zach Ahrenstorff said.
RV scored in the third and Jenson added one to send WHS to the next round of playoffs.
“This is one of the greatest tournaments in the world and anything can happen,” Nienkerk said. “If we bring the effort and battle every single shift, I don’t care what the seeds are, we just play our game and anything can happen.”
On Thursday, seventh-seeded Worthington travels to play second-seeded Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato.
“We’re going to take this game into the next game,” Zach Ahrenstorff said. “Take all this momentum into the next game and put it to them. We’re going to work our hardest in the next game, I can tell you that.”