WINDOM — The Windom Area boys hockey team gained some confidence and momentum a few days ago in a come-from-behind victory in overtime against Worthington.
On Monday night here at the Windom Ice Arena, the Eagles turned in another impressive performance in a 3-1 victory over the Trojans.
Alex Espenson and Caleb Rivera notched second-period goals, and Evan Mathis tallied in the third as Windom skated past Worthington.
“We out-shot them and kept them in their zone a lot,” said Espenson, a senior forward. “We kept the pressure on and they couldn’t really do too much.”
The Eagles out-shot the Trojans 35-20. It was a continuation of the final minutes on Friday night when Windom rallied from a 3-1 deficit to post the triumph in OT.
“Doing that gives us momentum for the rest of the season, just knowing we can come back and win games,” Espenson said.
Junior goaltender Dan Stubbe made 19 saves as the Eagles improved to 3-1.
Windom coach Travis Janssen said his club is heading in the right direction.
“We found success in the last game against Worthington, just not until it was really late,” Janssen said. “But we were doing the right things throughout and we did again here tonight. And we got to play with a lead, which was a big help.
“Worthington’s first line is going to complete with anybody. I thought they stayed disciplined ... It’s good to come out on top 2-nothing against them. Now we can move on and focus on somebody else.”
After a scoreless first period, during which Windom out-shot WHS 13-5, the Eagles went on the power play just seven seconds into the second stanza. Espenson took advantage at 15:38, with assists by Wyatt Hagen and Brady Espenson.
Rivera’s unassisted goal came shortly after a face-off with 2:49 left in the second period. Then after the second intermission, Mathis tallied on a rebound after a Ben Purrington shot on goal.
“We had too many guys throwing pucks away,” said Trojan coach Tyler Nienkerk. “Scared to control the puck, scared to play with it ... Just too much throwing pucks.
“We’ve got to continue to work on controlling the puck, because that’s where it all starts.”
Trailing 3-0 in the game’s final minutes, the Trojans finally broke through when junior forward Konner Honius lit the lamp on the power play. Blake Luinenburg and Alec Langerud assisted on the goal.
“We showed a little of our inexperience with some of our lines,” Nienkerk said. “Windom is always an aggressive team and always hard to play against. They’re always very physical. But I thought it was a clean game. They’re just hard to play against. They’re always there and always in the right spots.”
Nienkerk noticed the play of Langerud, the Trojans’ junior forward.
“Alec played a great game,” he said. “I wished he’d gotten rewarded for it. He’s always doing the right things.”
Janssen saluted the play of Mathis.
“He’s a guy who was originally slated for our fourth line,” Janssen said. “We got him a couple of shifts to see opportunity and he did everything right. And he was rewarded with a goal.
“Dan in net was really solid. They had a couple of flurries where he came up big.”
On Friday night, the Trojans return home to take on Redwood Valley while Windom plays host to Waseca.