Outdoor ice is nice for Cardinals as indoor struggles continue

Perhaps Coon Rapids boys’ hockey should play more games outdoors after a 3-1 win against Osseo on the outdoor rink at Coon Rapids Ice Center Jan. 19.

The Cardinals were 2-12-2 before the game, losing four-of-five games leading up to the first outdoors game in a while.

Since then the Cardinals have been outscored 12-2 in losses to Andover (Jan. 24) and St. Cloud Tech (Jan. 26) before a Jan. 31 date with St. Michael-Albertville.

The three goal scorers Jan. 19 had two combined goals before that game.

Besides playing outside, the squad accomplished a number of firsts, including the first shorthanded goal of the season when Tyler Wojciechowski scored with 1:43 left in the second period on a breakaway. The low wrist shot was his first varsity goal.

Sam Naegele set up Josh Lawrence’s goal in the opening 5:02 of the first period.

Coon Rapids jumped out early in the second period when Garrett Dey buried his own rebound at the 2:15 mark. Dey forced a turnover in the Orioles end of the rink, while the rest of the Cardinals were on a line change. Dey took the puck to the net and poked in his own rebound.

“It was a one-man effort,” Mileski said. “It gave the team a lot of confidence to give the team a two-goal lead.”

Cardinals goalie Justin Ball survived a furious end of the game while his squad played the final seven minutes with players in the penalty box after two five-minute majors were handed out to Wojciechowski and Robbie Randall.

“Justin made all of the saves he was supposed to and helped keep Osseo at arm’s length,” Mileski said.

Coon Rapids returned inside Coon Rapids Ice Arena for a Saturday matinee with St. Cloud Tech.

The Tigers outshot Coon Rapids 18-3 in the opening period to take a 3-0 lead into the first intermission. The visitors made it 5-0 less than two minutes into the second period.

Goals by Cody Ancheta and Wilfred Raeker-Rebke in a span of four minutes gave Cardinals fans something to cheer about as they outshot the Tigers 12-8 in the period. Ball stopped 25 shots in the loss.

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