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Boys hockey: An up and down week

The Rosemount boys hockey team completed a pair of splits with league opponents last week.

Last Tuesday the Irish rallied to score a 2-1 road win over a Lakeville North team that beat them in overtime in early January. The tables turned Saturday night when 20th-ranked Eastview avenged the Irish's earlier 3-0 upset win in Apple Valley by skating to a 6-0 rout at Rosemount Community Center.

The 1-1 week left the Irish eighth in the 10-team South Suburban Conference with a record of 4-11 heading into Tuesday's game at ninth-place Apple Valley. The regular season comes to a close Saturday afternoon at home against 15th-ranked Bloomington Jefferson.

The Irish went scoreless over the first 33-plus minutes last Tuesday at Ames Arena, but trailed just 1-0 when Austin Anderson finally found the net at 16:40. Lukas Gillett and Luke Meade assisted on the equalizer.

Lakeville North dominated the puck over the final 17 minutes, but Rosemount goaltender Tom Fraune stopped all 21 shots that came his way. The Irish managed just eight shots in the third, and ended up being out-shot 43-21 for the game, but Ted Schultz knocked in what turned out to be the game-winner midway through the period.

"It was a huge win for our boys. We played almost a perfect game, the way we need to play," Rosemount coach Brad Stepan said. "Lakeville was a lot more talented and out-shot us, but we had kids doing all the little things right. We put it all together for that one night."

Fraune finished with 43 saves against the Panthers. He was also helped out by a defense that blocked a season-high 29 shots.

"That's an absolute outrageous number. We've asked the kids to block shots all year and they did that to a tee," Stepan said. "Fraune was unreal. It was probably his best game of the year. In the first 10 minutes of the game it could have been 3-0. He played extremely well."

Fraune faced another barrage of shots Saturday night and didn't fare as well against Eastview.

The Lightning had a 38-11 advantage in shots on goal in the 6-0 shutout. The visitors took the lead midway through the first and went on to score twice in each period.

"We were not happy with the effort whatsoever, from top to bottom,"?Stepan said. "They outplayed us in every aspect of the game and deserved to win the game, 100 percent. We need to do a better job of preparing to play in big games."

The Irish will have some big games in the next couple of weeks when the section tournament gets under way. Stepan is hopeful his team will step up to the challenge.

"Our senior leadership has been so good all year. We're hoping they take over in the next two or three weeks,"?he said. "If they can do that we can make some noise in the playoffs."