The Orono Spartans Boys hockey team finished the regular season in winning fashion led by a corps of seniors, most of which have played together since their Mite hockey development days. The Spartans also placed an exclamation mark on the regular season with two victories over conference opponents and capturing the Wright County Conference title.
Orono finished the regular season with a 21-3-1 overall record, and a 12-1 mark in the conference. The Spartans have earned the number one seed in the Section 2A playoffs which kick off Wednesday night in St. Louis Park.
The week culminated with a Senior Night celebration with festivities before and after the Friday night game with Waconia and celebrated the 2020 class of hockey players. The Spartans won the game by a score of 7-1.
In Friday night’s game, Orono scored four first period goals to put little doubt the minds of the fans as to the outcome of the game. None other than Senior Captain and forward, Zach Simon, led off the scoring on assists from another Senior Captain/forward, Nick Messerli Mohs, and Freshman standout forward, Bradley Walker. The second goal of the game came off the stick of junior Jake Girardi on a shot that teammates could only describe as “sick”; a sweet back hander in the upper shelf of the goal. Assists on the goal were credited to Senior forward, Cooper Klaers, and Junior forward, Patrick Grady.
Klaers followed his assist with a goal of his own on assists coming from another Senior forward, Kyle Swanholm, and Junior forward, Finn Rohrer. Senior defenseman, Gus Hendrickson, closed out the first period flurry with a goal of his own off assists by Senior Captain/defenseman, Jack Anderson, and from Junior Captain/forward, Jamie Bazil.
The Spartans continued their pressure on the Waconia team with two more goals in the second period. Mohs Messerli added to his outstanding senior season production with a goal off assists by Simon and Walker. Junior defenseman, Hadley Stephenson, also got into the action with a goal off another assist by Simon.
Orono finished up their scoring with a second goal by Simon off assists by Mohs Messerli and Hendrickson. Waconia got a late goal to round out the final score. Senior goaltender, Finn Grandy, blocked 14 shots of the 15 he saw in the game and earned his 18th win of the season.
Senior week started off with a game against Mound on Tuesday night. Orono came out on top 3-1, but not after some fireworks throughout. The Spartans scoring came out strong again with two goals in the opening period. The first goal was produced by, not surprisingly, a couple of seniors. Senior forward, Nolan Tichy, scored on a precision break away pass from Senior forward, Aaron Brekken. The second goal of the period came as a result of a power play advantage. Walker put in a great tip off a shot from the point by Jack Anderson and a feed to Anderson from Mohs Messerli. The period also saw some “highlight reel” hits by big Senior defensemen, Freddie Brophy and Shea Anderson.
In the second period, Mound answered with a short-handed goal that managed to slip by the sure-gloved Grandy. The period ended with the two teams trading some unpleasantries that led to several players from both sides starting the third period in the penalty box.
The Spartans closed out the scoring and secured the win with a short-handed goal by Simon on a breakaway feed from Mohs Messerli. Grandy was solid in the net allowing the single goal on the 21 shots that he faced.
In Orono’s final two games the team scored 10 goals and Senior players played a part in every one of those goals. A fitting finish to a successful regular season for these fine young Senior men.
The Senior class of Orono Spartan hockey players include: Jack Anderson, Shea Anderson, Aaron Brekken, Freddie Brophy, Finn Grandy, Gus Hendrickson, George James, Cooper Klaers, Nick Mohs Messerli, Zack Simon, Kyle Swanholm, and Nolan Tichy.
The two team managers are also Seniors and were part of Friday night’s celebration: Kayla Simon and Silas Herman.