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Boys hockey: Irish edged in opener

Ryan Gould makes a play.

The first game of the regular season couldn't have gone much better for the Rosemount boys hockey team.

The only thing head coach Scott Macho would have changed is the result. His Irish out-shot visiting Shakopee 51-24 and controlled the puck for most of the game, but the Sabers hung around and eventually grabbed a 4-3 overtime victory Friday night at the Rosemount Community Center.

"The kids actually played pretty well. I wasn't disappointed with the performance, just the ending," Macho said. "I thought we completely outplayed them and controlled most of the game. To out-shoot an opponent 50-20 says something about our kids. They're doing some of the right things, we just allowed them to stick around too long."

The Irish also had to contend with a hot goaltender. Shakopee netminder Sean Surbaugh turned back 20 Rosemount shots in the first period alone and finished with 48 saves.

"To be honest, he was one of the better goalies I've seen at the high school level, at least that particular evening," Macho said. "He did a great job. It was one heck of a performance."

Still, the Irish managed to get on the board first thanks to a power-play goal by Ted Schultz at the 12:50 mark of the first. Josh Winter supplied the assist.

Shakopee tied the score in the second and found the net again early in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Then at the 4:27 mark of the third, Austin Gunderson re-tied the score with an assist going to Nick Swanson.

The Sabers moved back ahead with a goal at 6:28, but Andy Gustafson once again forged a tie with a goal midway through the third (assist to Schultz).

The score stayed tied through the final 7 1/2 minutes of regulation and until 11:52 of overtime when Shakopee's Andrew Long controlled the puck after a face-off and beat Irish goaltender Torin Anderson for the game-winner.

Anderson, a sophomore, finished with 20 saves in his first career start.

"All the way through overtime we were still controlling the play," Macho said. "This was their fourth game and our first and there were some little things we still need to tweak and adjust."

The Irish (0-1) traveled to Chaska Tuesday and are back home tonight against Minnetonka.

"Going forward, I think this gets us even more hungry," Macho said. "I know the kids are still stinging from this, but we're going to move forward and make a positive out of it."