Coach Sean Goldsworthy’s Minnetonka High boys hockey team has been working hard to perfect its power play, and that preparation led to a four-for-five performance in a 5-1 Lake Conference victory over Buffalo Jan. 9. But the best was yet to come two nights later when the Skippers traveled to White Bear Lake and stunned the No. 1-ranked Bears 4-3.
The win over White Bear Lake was no fluke, as the Skippers held a 38-24 edge in shots on net. Teddy Lagerback scored to give Minnetonka a 2-1 lead, but WBL came back in the second period to take a 2-1 lead. Minnetonka answered the call in the third period with goals by Ben Konen, Braedon Lacomy and Jack Quinn. Brandon Shantz earned the win in goal.
Going back to the Buffalo game, Minnetonka scored its only even-strength goal in the second period when Lagerback converted assists from Lacomy and Liam Worms.
Before that period ended, the Skippers scored two power-play goals. Griffin Streeter found the back of the net with assists from Hunter Newhouse and Konen, and then Lagerback scored from Lacomy.
The score was 3-1 going into the third period, before the Skippers pulled away. Tyler Kueppers scored on the power play from Lagerback and Duke Kiffin. Newhouse wrapped up the scoring with a power-play goal from Kiffin and Lagerback.
It was hard not to notice Lagerback’s log against Buffalo - two goals and two assists - plus solid effort in the other two zones.
“Buffalo is a good team with some skilled players,” Lagerback said after the game. Still, the Skippers were able to fire 48 shots on goal to 16 for the Bison. Goalie Anders Irene was solid in posting the win.
Newhouse, a junior forward, wasn’t surprised to see Lagerback come through with a four-point night.
“Teddy is our leader,” Newhouse said. “He’s always in a good mood.”
With the wins over Buffalo and White Bear Lake, Minnetonka improved to 8-7-0.
Another player instrumental in the team’s recent success is senior forward Griffin Streeter. He is a pass-first playmaker, who recently had four assists in one game.
The Skippers opened the season 1-5-0, but have since gone on a tear.
“We just need to do the little things and stick to our game plan,” Streeter said. “We all want to do our best for the guys next to us. There is a good bond in the locker room.”
Lagerback said. “It is an honor to play for coach Goldsworthy.”
Minnetonka will face off against Eden Prairie at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at Eden Prairie Community Center. After a 7 p.m. game against Jefferson Saturday, Jan. 18, at Bloomington Ice Garden, the Skippers will begin preparing for their first meeting with Edina at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at Pagel Activity Center.