The University School boys ice hockey team lost to the Blake School 3-2 in overtime in the opening round of the 24th annual Bob Nelson Hockey Tournament at the Blake School in Hopkins, Minnesota Friday night.
The Wildcats fought from behind twice in the game only to see victory slip from their grasp on a 2 on 1 in the additional eight minutes of time.
“It was a close game throughout,” said USM’s head coach Cal Roadhouse. “The shots were 33 to 35 in our favor. We just couldn’t get the final one we needed. Blake is always good, but we played them evenly tonight.”
Most of the first period looked like a post Thanksgiving family skate as each team tested the other. The period’s only goal came late when Blake’s Edmund Chute tipped a point shot taken by his brother Christopher Chute past USM’s goalkeeper Bryan Botcher on a power play at 2:11.
The action picked up significantly in the second period as both teams found their legs. The Wildcats tied the score at 12:34 of the period. While cycling the puck effectively in the Bears’ zone, USM’s Stephen Swanson skated out of the left corner and took a shot at Blake’s goalie Jackson Norris. The rebound pushed out to USM’s Ryan Revolinski at the point. He immediately shot it on net. The puck bounced to Ben Walker at the side of the crease. Walker tucked it in like he was putting a baby down for a nap.
Blake went back ahead late in the period when Christopher Chute scored on a breakaway at 1:38.
The Wildcats worked hard in the third period and their efforts eventually came to fruition. In the Blake zone, Ben Hraback moved the puck to Vadim Sukhanov near the blue line. Sukhanov shot the puck in to Hayden Brown. Brown fired the puck off a Blake defender and into the net at 6:18.
The Wildcats moved around the Blake zone like the Furies for the remainder of the period, but they could not get another shot past Norris and that sent the game into overtime.
Hayden Brown nearly won it for USM when he went in on a breakaway early in the overtime, but Norris stopped his first shot and the rebound Brown gathered and put on net to end the threat. Soon thereafter Blake score to win the game.
USM is now 1-0-2. The Wildcats play in the consolation game of the tournament at 1:00 p.m. against the high school team from Waconia, MN.