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Boys hockey: Rosemount completes Apple Valley sweep

After last Saturday's heartbreaking 5-4 overtime loss to Lakeville North, the Rosemount boys hockey team set a goal of going 4-0 in its next four games.

So far, so good. The Irish bounced back from the setback with a road sweep of the Apple Valley schools last week. They handed an 8-5 Eastview squad its second shutout of the season with a 3-0 whitewash last Tuesday and came back to put away Apple Valley 4-1 on Saturday.

The Irish needed to knock off Park of Cottage Grove at home Tuesday to keep the streak going heading into Saturday's rematch with Lakeville South at the Rosemount Community Center. The Cougars defeated the Irish 6-3 in mid-December.

"We've talked about 4-0 being our goal. Park is a big game as far as section seedings go. I hope the kids come ready to play," first-year head coach Brad Stepan said. "The kids have been practicing harder. We've had a really good three weeks here."

The defense looked especially good against Eastview, holding the Lightning to 28 shots and no goals after surrendering six goals to Bloomington Jefferson and five to North in its previous two outings. Goaltender Tom Fraune stopped all 28 and held the Lightning scoreless through three power plays.

The game remained scoreless until Zach Bichler found the net at the 3:19 mark of the second period. Evan Weiand provided the assist. Bichler scored an unassisted goal later in the second to make it 2-0.

Lukas Hedtke capped the scoring at the 3:13 mark of the third. Austin Anderson assisted on the tally.

The Irish overcame a slow start to complete the Apple Valley sweep with a 4-1 win over the Eagles Saturday night.

Apple Valley netted a power-play goal at the 11:28 mark of the first and finished the period with seven shots on goal and a 1-0 lead. The home team managed just nine shots over the next 34 minutes and Fraune stopped all nine to preserve the win.

Weiand tied the score at 4:56 of the second period on an assist from Anthony Winters and Lukas Gillett added another score later in the period to make it 2-1 Irish. Bichler and Ryan Foley provided assists.

Gillett scored his second goal on an assist from Bichler in the third and Luke Maede capped the scoring with another tally at 12:55.

"We didn't come out the way we wanted to, but the kids played really well in the second and third," Stepan said. "I felt like we dominated after that."