Boys hockey: Big second period lifts Irish
Whatever coach Brad Stepan said to his Rosemount boys hockey team after the first period of Saturday’s game against Lakeville South, it worked.
The Irish overcame a slow start with five goals in the second period and pulled away for an 8-5 triumph over the Cougars, their fifth win in six games, at Rosemount Community Center.
“We came out flat, didn’t compete at all and were awful in the faceoff circle, so we didn’t have the puck much,” Stepan said. “They started moving their feet and got more physical in the second period. The message was simple: Take pride in what you do, show a little heart and desire and good things will happen.”
The good things started with a goal by Lukas Gillett (assists to Ryan Foley and Andy Glad) that tied the score at 3-3. Blake Storholm then scored to give the Irish the lead and Gillett, Charlie Monn and Luke Hedtke followed with goals to make it 7-3.
The Irish had just four shots in the first period before putting up 14 in the second. Foley scored twice in the first to keep the game close and completed his hat trick with another goal late in the third.
Foley and Gillett (2 goals, 3 assists) each finished with five points. Justin Crowell added a pair of assists.
“When our best players are our best players we’re a pretty good team,” Stepan said. “In the last seven games our best players have been our best players. They’re buying into what the coaches are selling and it’s been a big positive for us.”
Storholm, Spike Burkard, Jake Simonet and Nick Peterson each added assists for the Irish.
Tom Fraune started in goal and stopped 35 Lakeville South shots.
The Irish (5-7) continue their climb back toward the .500 mark this week with home games against Eastview on Tuesday and Apple Valley on Saturday.
“Eastview is a good team and Apple Valley works really hard, but these are games we should be able to compete in,” Stepan said. “Right now our goal is to get back to .500 as quick as we can.”