Irish boys' hockey have won seven in a row after road trip
The Rosemount Irish boys' hockey team continued its winning ways over the winter break with three road victories in northern Minnesota. They beat Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl 5-1, Hibbing/Chisholm 4-2 and Greenway 5-3 to improve to 8-2 overall (4-1 in the SSC).
The Irish jumped on Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl right away in the first period during the first game of their road trip. They scored four goals in the first period, courtesy of Noah Berg, Tyler Linnerooth, Griffin Jagoe and Connor Kenefick. They led 4-1 after the first and then got another goal from Mason Wheeler in the second period to seal the victory.
Rosemount continued its trend of fast starts by scoring one goal in the first (from Berg) and another to start the second (Linnerooth) to take a 2-1 lead. Hibbing/Chisholm tied the game with goals to end the second and start the third period, but then the Irish ran away with it with two more goals from Kenefick and Jackson Sabo.
Lastly, Rosemount scored three goals in the first period and two in the third against Greenway to win 5-3. Scoring for the Irish in the first were Berg, Jake Ratzlaff and Grant Horsager. Then in the third, Linnerooth and Ratzlaff sealed the win for the Irish.
"We did some nice things up north," head coach Ricky Saintey said. "Anytime you are playing in some hostile environments, playing three road games and the kids have to deal with the other stuff besides playing hockey, it was good for us."
Saintey said that they were able to continue their style of play from before the road trip.
"That was one of the main things we did up there, we found some scoring," he said. "We put five in the net two of the games and four in the other, we created a lot of offensive opportunities which was good. And then defensively we continue to do some good things and keep the puck out of the net."
He also said the main takeaway from their trip up north was starting to develop a team identity.
"We had a goal at the beginning of the year to find a team identity by the first of the year," Saintey explained. "I think we're starting to discover a little of what we are and what we can be and how we can play every night. That's the biggest thing we took away from up there, we have to be good defensively but if we can generate some offense and go from there we will be just fine."
During the trip Rosemount got Horsager back from injury and were able to reintegrate him back into the team as a key part of their offense. He also singled out goalie Ben Garrity as continuing to play well and said that Garrity playing at high level will be key to Rosemount's success.
The Irish travel to Mankato to face Mankato East on Thursday, Jan. 4, and then host Apple Valley on Saturday, Jan. 6.