by Jason Olson
A thriller broke out on the ice at the Andover Ice Center as Blaine held off a hard-charging Andover squad for a 7-6 win Jan. 5.
The team’s combined for 57 shots as Blaine out shot Andover 16-5 and 16-8 over the second and third periods, respectively.
A scoreless first period gave way to four goals in the second period and nine more in the third period for the final tally.
Blaine’s Cole Mortenson started the scoring 6:27 into the second period only to have Andover’s standout Calvin Rak make it 1-1 just over four minutes later. Blaine’s Tyler Cline scored the first of a trio of goals at the 12:27 mark of the second period and the Huskies Jared McComber helped pull the home team even with a goal two minutes later to make it 2-2 after two periods.
Blaine made it 5-2 by the 5:05 mark of the third period on goals by Jack Micek, Cline and Drew Mezzano. Cline completed the hat trick with a goal at the 14:17 mark to make it 7-4. Rak came roaring back to score two more goals with the second coming with four seconds left in regulation.
Blaine coach Dave Aus said the offense was as strong as any other time this season but noted how the defense clamped down on Andover to hold them to just 18 shots. Blaine produced 35 shots.
“I thought we were really dominant as the game progressed but we never seemed to get comfortable and find our rhythm,” Aus said. “Andover has a really nice team and I thought it was a tight game for the first two periods then we pulled away in the third and they almost came back.”
Despite the high offensive production, Andover struggled to challenge Blaine goalie Nick Malvin who stopped 14-of-20 shots to record the win while Andover sophomore Chase Perry made 30 saves in the loss. Andover’s Jokinen, Brady Barthold and Tyler Vold each had two assists.