Trojans make progress in 9-4 boys hockey loss to Waseca
WORTHINGTON – The Worthington Trojans came into its second home game of the 2022-23 season Tuesday night needing to find results on offense. The Trojans showed great progress as they netted four goals against the Waseca Bluejays.
But the Bluejays scored nine, as they improved their record to 3-1.
The Bluejays made the Trojans uncomfortable in the first period, and with long bouts of offensive possession they connected on three first period goals.
Brayden Hesch-Priem scored the opening goal after six tight minutes of play.
The Trojans countered within a minute, as junior Easton Newman netted the first goal of the season, assisted by Mason Ommen and Riley Woodbury. The game would not remain tied going into the break as the Bluejays’ re-took the lead with goals from senior captain Kyle Ahlschlager and junior forward Keaton Roeker.
Worthington came into the second period with a hunger to tie the game, and for 16 minutes of the second period WHS was the better team. The Trojans allowed a second breakaway goal from Ahlschlager, but once again answered within a minute of play from a goal by Spenser Nickel with an assist from defenseman Kyle Ahrenstorff.
After several strong possessions in the offensive zone, Newman netted the Trojans’ third goal and his second on the night. If the buzzer rang at 16 minutes the Trojans would have ended the second period down one, but unfortunately for the home team they played for 17, and Waseca capitalized with two ensuing goals to end the second period up 6-3.
“There were a lot of positives to take from,” Worthington head coach Tyler Nienkerk said. “With a kid like number 8 (Ahlschlager) you’ve got to put a body on him, and we were not able to do that enough, all game long.”
Kyle Ahlschlager could score from anywhere for the Bluejays. Ahlschlager had great pace on the puck, and a nose for the goal. Ahlschlager finished with four goals, including a shorthanded breakaway in the third period to douse any Trojan comeback, as well as three assists.
Worthington faced 35 shots, including several rebounds. The Trojans put up 25 shots, many of which came in the second period.
Despite a significant goal difference, the spirit on the Trojan bench showed great celebration for the final Trojan goal of the night from junior forward Caden Van Briesen, who fought off a Waseca defender, and made the Waseca goalie bite on a deke, before connecting his shot “bar down” (striking the pipe on the net) to get the Trojan goal tally to four. The Trojans made great improvement despite falling to 0-2 on the season.
The Worthington Trojans’ next opponent is Minnesota River (1-2) and the matchup is one both teams are hoping will vault them to competitiveness in the Big South Conference.
Waseca 3 3 3 -- 9
Worthington 1 2 1 -- 4