The Minnesota River Bulldogs’ boys’ hockey team was hungry for a win on Friday night and emerged victorious in a back-and-forth game against the Luverne Cardinals.
The Bulldogs’ Hunter Wilmes only needed a minute and a half to put the first score on the board, with assists by Charlie Weick and Tyson Sowder.
The Cardinals’ Tyler Roberts responded with a score of his own two minutes later.
The Cardinals gained an edge over the Bulldogs after Tyce Shook and Andrew Regner received two-minute penalties. The Cardinals took advantage of the 5-on-3 powerplay to score another goal and take the lead.
Once the Bulldogs were back again at full strength, a Cardinals penalty gave the Bulldogs a 5-4 advantage, which Danny McCabe used to tie the score with 6:22 left in the first period. McCabe was assisted by Wilmes and Sowder.
The Bulldogs followed that up with a goal by Lane Schwarz just 18 seconds into the second period to take a 3-2 lead.
Bulldogs’ forward Jade Reicks added a goal of his own when he came behind the Cardinals’ net and snuck the puck in the corner with 8:23 remaining in the second period.
The Cardinals scored its final goal with a minute left in the second period when Ben Serie took advantage on a power play.
The Bulldogs’ fifth and final goal occurred at the 11:27 mark in the third period, when Reicks, assisted by Ken Ringler, lit the lamp to give the Bulldogs a 5-3 lead.
Although no more scoring would occur, Cardinals’ player Colby Crabtree received a game-ending penalty in the final minutes of the game for game misconduct against the Bulldogs’ Shawn Lehtinen. After a hard check into the boards, Lehtinen was conscious but had to be removed from the ice on a stretcher.
Crabtree was given a 5-minute penalty with just 2:27 left remaining in the game.
The Bulldogs took 41 shots on goal, compared to the Cardinals’ 28.
COME FROM BEHIND WIN AT MANKATO
The Bulldogs trailed 2-1 last Tuesday at Mankato West, but second period goals by Ringler, Wilmes and Sowder propelled Minnesota River to a 6-2 win.
“We had contributions from four different lines, which is huge in a game like this,” said Coach Shea Roehrkasse. “Our depth was our best attribute … we were able to have fresh legs in the third period and control of a lot of the game. It was a very nice early season win.”
Sowder had two goals, Weick had a goal and two assists, and McCabe had a goal. Regner stopped 18 of 20 shots.
The Bulldogs (3-1) were scheduled to travel to Worthington on Saturday, but the game was postponed due to weather.
The Bulldogs traveled to Fairmont on Tuesday night (result unavailable at press time), and will visit Windom on Saturday for a 3 p.m. faceoff. Next Tuesday, the Bulldogs travel to Albert Lea for a key section matchup. Albert Lea is expected to be one of the favorites in the section.
Troy Koester contributed to this story.