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Boys hockey: Beers helps Luverne refuse another slow start

BY AARON HAGEN The Globe WORTHINGTON -- Declan Beers said his team has been struggling, getting off to a slow start. Beers made sure it wasn't a problem Tuesday. Beers notched a hat trick in less than 15 minutes to lead the Luverne boys hockey te...

3975075+WHS boys Hockey vs Luverne Cardinals web.jpg
Gaige Nath (25) of Luverne moves the puck forward as Worthington's Logan Kluever (13) and Eric Heidebrink attempt a steal. (Aaron Hagen/The Globe)

BY AARON HAGEN

The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- Declan Beers said his team has been struggling, getting off to a slow start.

Beers made sure it wasn’t a problem Tuesday.

Beers notched a hat trick in less than 15 minutes to lead the Luverne boys hockey team to a 9-1 victory over Worthington.

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“Our big problem this year has been not having a good start,” Beers said. “So we did it pretty good. Today we did a good job of coming out and taking care of business and not worrying about anything else. We kind of got more comfortable and we were able to get shots in.”

The Cardinals scored six times in the first period.

“Our mindset is always the same, to prepare like we prepare for every game so that we come out in every game ready to go, there’s no lag, there’s no getting used to what’s going on out there,” LHS head coach Phillip Paquette said. “We come out and we’re on fire right away. We’re flying right away. At times, that’s been an issue. That’s been something we’ve been pushing all year, is prepare for every game mentally and physically like it’s a championship game.”

Beers finished with four goals in the game.

“My linemates Coy (Gonnerman) and (Nick) Harder were able to give me the puck,” Beers said. “Coy gave me a good pass and Colby Crabtree came up played big with us and had a nice pass for me to get the breakaway that I had. I was able to feed off what the teammates were giving me, so it was kind of nice to let them help me out.”

Kasyn Kruse added three goals for the Cardinals, who finished with 68 shots on goal.

“A lot of what I hope to get out of each game is that we’re playing at 100 percent, we’re flying around the ice, we’re connecting passes, we’re doing the right things and we’re playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played,” Paquette said. “You can do that against any team in the state. That’s something that you can control.”

Luverne controlled much of the action with its ability to connect on passes and move up the ice.

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“Once you get control of the puck and you get comfortable in the situation we’re deadly in most situations,” Beers said. “Our problem is we have to adapt to the situation and the time to adapt is a little too long right now. Once we shorten that up, we’ll be able to play with anyone. It will do wonders for us once we’re able to adapt quicker.”

Beers scored the game’s first two goals (with Harder getting the first assist) before Crabtree scored with Mason Steensma assisting. Kruse scored as Mark Sterrett and Gaige Nath assisted before Sterrett scored a goal of his own and Beers completed his hat trick (Trey Roberts assist) as LHS led 6-0. Beers scored Luverne’s first goal in the second period (Crabtree assist), and Kruse added a goal. The assists went to Sterrett and Austin Watts-Boll. Kruse scored a goal in the third with Nath assisting.

Worthington’s lone goal came early in the second period. Eric Heidebrink collected a loose puck in front of the LHS net and put it in. Loddy Thepmontry had the assist.

In all, the Trojans had 12 shots on goal.

“Our defense has been helping us all year,” Beers said. “They are our backbone. Whenever the forwards mess up, it’s usually the defense that gets us out of the pickle. They’ve been big for us the whole year.”

Luverne 6 2 1 -- 9Worthington 0 1 0 -- 1

Related Topics: BOYS HOCKEY
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