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Boys hockey: Another learning experience for Luverne

DAILY GLOBE BROOKLYN PARK -- Anxious to test themselves against strong Twin Cities area competition to get themselves ready for the postseason, the Luverne Cardinals boys hockey team is finding out just how far they still need to go.The Cardinals...

DAILY GLOBE

BROOKLYN PARK - Anxious to test themselves against strong Twin Cities area competition to get themselves ready for the postseason, the Luverne Cardinals boys hockey team is finding out just how far they still need to go.
The Cardinals, 9-3 overall, were clipped by host Totino-Grace 7-6 Thursday after allowing four straight first-period goals that erased a 1-0 lead.
In three games during the 2015-16 campaign against top-flite Twin Cities competition, the Cards are 0-3. They lost 5-4 to St. Paul Academy, 4-1 to Orono and now 7-6 to Totino-Grace.
“We gave up four quick ones and we were down 4-2 after one,” said Luverne head coach Kullen Schroht, who cited mental breakdowns as a team problem area.
Still, he said, the Cardinals are discovering something important about themselves with each loss.
“It’s not the end of our season. It’s just an opportunity to learn that we have to get better defensively,” Schroht said.
Luverne is ranked No. 11 in the state.
Nick Behrend, on an assist from Declan Beers, scored the first goal of the game for Luverne. Totino-Grace answered with four consecutive goals before Luverne’s Kasyn Kruse closed the first period with the Cardinals’ second goal.
Kruse scored another goal in the second period. Nick Harder had two goals for LHS in the game and Chaz Smedsrud had another.
Jaxon Nelson, Luverne’s outstanding sophomore forward who has committed to the University of Minnesota and led the state with 26 goals prior to the Totino-Grace contest, didn’t have a goal but did have two assists.
The winning goal - a shorthanded goal - was scored by Samuel Hentges with less than five minutes remaining in the game. That tally put Totino-Grace (5-5) ahead 7-5.
Luverne lost on Thursday despite putting 35 shots on goal compared to the Eagles’ 26.
Luverne 2 2 2 - 6
Totino-Grace 4 2 1 - 7

Related Topics: BOYS HOCKEY
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