Boys’ hockey update: Top-ranked Bengals force state to take notice of hot start

Blaine

After scoring 104 goals last season, Blaine is on pace to pass that number. Averaging 5.75 goals per game, four games into the season, the Bengals are on pace for 125 regular season goals.

Blaine moved to 4-0-0 overall and 2-0-0 in the competitive Northwest Suburban Conference after a 6-2 win at Osseo followed two nights later by winning the home opener at Fogerty Arena against Centennial 3-1.

Blaine senior Joey Lau, right, had one assist in the Bengals 3-1 win over rival Centennial Dec. 7. Classmate Tyler Cline had two goals to help Blaine start the season 4-0-0.

Blaine senior Joey Lau, right, had one assist in the Bengals 3-1 win over rival Centennial Dec. 7. Classmate Tyler Cline had two goals to help Blaine start the season 4-0-0. Photo by Bill Jones

Osseo tied the game midway through the second period at 2-2, but four goals later Blaine secured a Northwest Suburban Conference opener win at Dick Vraa Memorial Ice Arena, Dec. 5.

Brandon Notermann collected two goals and Luke Notermann had two assists as six different skaters scored for the Bengals in the contest. Blaine goalie Andrew Houle made 18 saves in his first start of the season.

Two nights later, Centennial provided a tough challenge for the top-ranked Bengals in an emotional rivalry contest. A scoreless opening period gave way to a three-goal middle period. Blaine’s Tyler Cline scored the first of his two goals followed 2:01 later by Tyler Frischmon.

Joey Lau and Dallas Gerads helped on Cline’s power play tally.

Centennial made it 2-1 on a goal 36 seconds from the end of the period.

Cline made it 3-1 for the home team with 52 seconds left in the contest with help from Brandon Notermann and Ian Scheid. Scheid also set up Frischmon’s goal.

Centennial outshot Blaine by a 15-7 margin in the second period, but the Bengals won the game total by a 26-25 edge. Blaine’s Bailey Ketola improved to 3-0-0 with a 3.12 goals against average and .897 saves percentage.

Blaine goalie Bailey Ketola, left, makes a stop infront of a hard-charging Elk River skater. Photo by Bill Jones

Blaine goalie Bailey Ketola, left, makes a stop infront of a hard-charging Elk River skater. Photo by Bill Jones

Legacy Christian

The Lions followed up a 6-1 season-opener loss at Robbinsdale Armstrong with a 7-1 loss at Simley Dec. 5.

Senior Tyler Arenz scored the lone Legacy goal in the first period and finished with five shots on goal. He had an assist in the season opener.

Lions’ senior goalie Tanner Balk made 36 saves to give him 76 saves on the season on 13 goals.

Legacy opened the Two Rivers Conference season at Pine City, Dec. 10 and welcomed Henry Sibley to Schwan Super Rink for the home opener Dec. 12.

Spring Lake Park

The Panthers have traded wins and losses four games into the new season, topping Sibley 4-2 before North St. Paul earned a 5-4 overtime win Dec. 7.

Spring Lake Park outshot Sibley by 12 shots and scored four unanswered goals after the Spartans led 2-0 through the first period.

Austin Long cut the lead in half 1:32 into the second period before a pair of shorthanders, 17 seconds apart, gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead.

Those shorties came from Jacob Nystrom (assist from Long) and Pete Sienko (assist from Nick Turnquist).

Sienko’s season was halted after undergoing surgery to repair a broken wrist Monday.

Turnquist made it 4-2 with an even strength tally at the 6:54 mark.

Panthers sophomore goalie Aaron Furlano made 18 saves for his first win of the season.

Spring Lake Park couldn’t hold a 3-1 lead heading into the final period at North St. Paul.

Nystrom scored twice in the second period, including a power play tally to make it 3-1. Assists came from Deven Sunell and Jake Kroll on each goal. Nystrom set up Sunell’s first period goal as their line continued to fuel many scoring chances.

Kroll collected his first goal of the season on the power play to make it 4-2 for the visitors at the 7:58 mark of the third period.

The Polars scored twice in the final 11 minutes of regulation before ending the game on a power play tally at the 3:16 mark.

Furlano made 29 saves to drop his season record to 1-2-0.

Jason Olson is at
jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

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