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Prep boys hockey: Worthington can't overcome second-period woes

WORTHINGTON -- The inability to stay out of the penalty box during the second period was once again the downfall of Worthington on Saturday.In a battle of winless teams, a pair of high-sticking penalties during the ill-fated frame provided Winona...

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ZACH HACKER/DAILY GLOBE Worthington’s Jordan Jensen (20) weaves through the Winona defense during the first period Saturday in Worthington. Jensen scored the Trojans’ lone goal in a 5-1 loss.

WORTHINGTON - The inability to stay out of the penalty box during the second period was once again the downfall of Worthington on Saturday.
In a battle of winless teams, a pair of high-sticking penalties during the ill-fated frame provided Winona the spark it needed to pick up its first win of the season, 5-1 over Worthington.
“We let a really good opportunity slip away,” Trojans assistant coach Brad Foss said. “We came in looking to throw together three disciplined periods. In the first period we did that and we were right in the game, but we didn’t stay out of the box in the second period. Then, with only two lines, I think that kind of winded us and that period got away from us.”
The two teams were pretty much even-up in all facets in the first period. The Winhawks struck first just 1:43 into the game on a one-timer by Ty Mannor, but Worthington seemed undeterred. It almost knotted things up at the 6:43 mark when Evan Eggers and Karter Honius got into a 2-on-1 with Winona goalie Matt Schoh.
Eggers sent the puck right to left with a crisp pass to Honius in front of the net. He took a point-blank shot that Schoh was able to stop. Honius was there to try again on the carom, but this time the Winhawks’ senior smothered the puck and stomped out the opportunity.
The 1-0 deficit held until there was 10:02 off the clock in the first. Jordan Jensen took the puck in the neutral zone and weaved his way through the defense. He eventually stuffed it in for an unassisted goal that knotted the score at 1-1. That’s where it remained at the end of one with the Winhawks holding a slight 9-6 lead in shots on goal.
Things began to unravel for Worthington five minutes and 12 seconds after the first intermission. That’s when a high-sticking penalty gave Winona its first power play opportunity.
Only 11 seconds remained in the power play when Winhawk sophomore Aden Kovala scored from just in front of the red line to put his team up 2-1. At the 9:52 mark, only six seconds were left on another Winona power play for high-sticking when Zach Buerck scored.
“We got away from what we were trying to do,” Foss said. “We were not playing positional hockey like we were in the first. That resulted in some long shifts and some big circles with guys just chasing the puck around. It’s just a matter of winning those battles for the puck.”
In between those two goals, the Trojans got their only real opportunity in the period. Andrew Olsen got loss on a breakaway but was stuffed in a 1-on-1 with Schoh. There wasn’t anyone there to clean up the rebound for Worthington.
Mannor scored his second goal of the afternoon with just 50 seconds remaining in the period. After two, the Winhawks led 4-1 after out-shooting the Trojans 18-4 in the frame.
In the third period, Foss said the Trojans were just “doing everything we could to stay in the game.” Unfortunately for the home team, that didn’t yield any offense. Winona scored once more on an Ivan Kovala goal to bring the game to its final.
Worthington goalie Gage Langerud was 35-of-40 on save opportunities with the Winhawks ending the game on a 40-13 shot on goal advantage.
The Trojans (0-17 overall, 0-13 Big South Conference) will try again for its first win at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against Windom Area. The league rivals first met this season on Dec. 3 with the Eagles taking a 4-2 victory in Windom.
“We played a close game with them the first time,” Foss said. “I think that was the first game we after we had pulled up the Bantams so it will be interesting to see how it goes now that those guys have a few games under them.”
Winona 1 3 1 - 5
Worthington 1 0 0 - 1

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ZACH HACKER/DAILY GLOBE Evan Eggers (17) works the puck between a pair of Winona defenders Saturday during the Trojans' 5-1 loss to the Winhawks.

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