Boys hockey: Health, consistency key in win
Second-year head coach Brad Stepan stressed the need for more consistent play and more healthy players throughout his young team’s 0-6 start.
He finally got both last Tuesday against Farmington as the Irish chalked up their first victory of the season, 8-2 over the visiting Tigers at Rosemount Community Center.
“I think it was just a matter of us getting our full lineup in place. That helped us play by far our best game of the year,” Stepan said. “That and consistency. When you have as many young guys as we do, one thing they’ve gotta learn is to be more consistent. That’s a big part of making the jump from Bantams to high school hockey.”
One thing that was more consistent during last Tuesday’s win was the Irish’s puck control. They were outshot 44-31, but still had control of the puck more thanks to advantages in faceoffs and checks, according to Stepan.“Those were two big reasons we won. We chart that stuff and doing those things led to us having the puck more,” he said.The Irish also excelled on the power play, going 3 for 3. Andrew Glad scored with a man advantage to make it 4-2 late in the second period and power play goals by Ryan Foley and Charlie Monn pushed the lead to 6-2 just over seven minutes into the third. Glad and Charlie Hinkle knocked in two more goals to cap off a third period where the Irish scored on four of nine shots.Jake Simonet opened the scoring with a goal four minutes into the first period. Lukas Gillett added a score to make it 2-0 heading into the second and Zach Bichler found the net 1:14 into the second to put Rosemount up by three.Nine players scored two or more points for the Irish. Glad finished with two goals and two assists, Gillett had a goal and two assists and Justin Crowell tallied three assists.Foley, Bichler, Simonet, Monn, Hinkle and Luke Hedtke scored two points apiece.Sophomore Nick Hart picked up his first career win in net. In just his second career start, Hart stopped 42 Farmington shots.“I thought he was another major reason why we won the way we did,” Stepan said. “He has played extremely well to this point.”The Irish took the ice again Saturday at Ames Arena in Lakeville and dropped a 5-1 South Suburban Conference contest to Lakeville North.The Panthers had a 46-17 advantage in shots on goal. It was 5-0 before Foley scored a shorthanded goal 9:59 into the third period.The Irish take a 1-7 record into tonight’s first-round game against Apple Valley at the eight-team Heritage Classic tournament in Duluth.