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MBA storms past Worthington boys hockey team, 6-2

Morris-Benson's Zach Bruns scored three times and assisted on two other goals in a 6-2 boys hockey win at Worthington Saturday.

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Worthington Trojans Riley Woodbury (7) attempts To score But Morris-Benson goalie snags the puck with a skate in Saturday afternoon action at the Worthington Ice Arena. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- First it was supposed to be a postponement, then a B squad contest.

No matter the confusion, on Saturday afternoon at the Worthington Ice Arena Zach Bruns of Morris-Benson Area brought his A game.

Bruns scored three goals and assisted on two others as the Storm of MBA defeated Worthington High 6-2 in a boys hockey game.

MBA was involved in a game last week after which one of the opposition tested positive for the coronavirus, which sent many Storm veterans to the bench and caused the uncertainty with Saturday’s game. Eventually it was decided to play a varsity game, but Worthington coach Tyler Nienkerk agreed to sit many of his regulars.

Bruns, a senior forward who is one of the state’s top players and is closing in on 100 goals for his fine career, did not have to sit out, and made a difference.

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“He’s a good player, one of the top scorers in the state,” Nienkerk said. “You watch his feet and when that puck gets to him he’s going.”

Bruns scored two unassisted goals in the first period.
“We decided to play a lot of our young kids and give them some good varsity time,” Nienkerk said. “It was a good chance for our young kids to get some experience and play some first-line minutes.”

Among the Trojan regulars not in uniform were the team’s only two seniors, Sammy Farra and goalie Preston Thavixay. Also not dressed out were, among others, WHS standouts Konner Honius, Blake Ahrensdorff and Alec Langerud.

Junior goaltender Matthew Becker had 24 saves. Junior forward Blake Luinenburg scored both Worthington goals, while freshman Logan Powers and sophomore Riley Woodbury had assists.

“Matthew Becker played very well,” Nienkerk said. “He kept us in it. Blake Luinenberg played good and Tyler Woodbury played pretty well. So we had some good things from guys who normally don’t have the opportunity to be in that position.”

After Worthington closed within 3-2 thanks to Luinenburg’s two goals in the second period, it appeared the final 17 minutes might be drama-packed.

But the Storm quickly ended the suspense, scoring three goals 70 seconds apart early in the third period. Marshall Tolifson and Levi Gunlogson scored 24 seconds apart. Then Bruns put an exclamation mark on the afternoon when he buried a lightning-fast shot just 26 seconds after Gunlogson’s goal.

The Trojans will be back on home ice Tuesday afternoon to take on Waseca in a Big South Conference clash.

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Morris-Benson Area 1 2 3 - 6

Worthington 0 2 0 - 2

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Worthington Trojans Levi Kuhl (22) and Caden Van Briesen help Matthew Becker (20) defend against a shot on goal by Morris-Benson Area Saturday afternoon at the Worthington Ice Arena. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

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