In a match-up of two of the states’ elite hockey programs, the BSM boys’ varsity hockey team was defeated by the Holy Angels Stars 3-1 on February 14 at Richfield Ice Arena. This was BSM’s second consecutive loss, as they were beaten by the Totino-Grace Eagles 4-3 on February 12.
The Stars, ranked #9 in the state, had won four games in a row leading up to Saturday’s contest. The Stars’ speedy, quick-transitioning offense is the main reason for their success this season––their record is now 18-4-1––and is considered among the best in the state.
Leading this offense is University of North Dakota Recruit Danny Mattson, who is considered among the front-runners for the prestigious Mr. Hockey Award, an award given annually to the best player in the state. Mattson created all three of the Stars’ goals in Saturday’s game and, according to BSM head coach Ken Pauly, “was the best player on the ice.”
The first period saw the Red Knights quickly fall behind 2-0 on goals by Holy Angels’ Garret Faust and John Haeg. “The biggest thing was that [Holy Angels] just beat us to loose pucks,” said Pauly.
The teams fought to a scoreless second period, but the Stars increased the gap early in the third with a goal by Ryan Reilly, who, coincidentally, transferred from BSM to Holy Angels after his freshmen year. Senior captain Pat Borer scored for the Red Knights with one minute remaining in the game, his seventh goal of the season, but it was too little too late.
Both teams’ goalies played solidly throughout the game. Holy Angels’ Tommy Burke made 28 saves, carrying a shutout into the closing minutes of the third period. Despite giving up three goals, BSM’s Jacob Meyers played relatively well, making a total of 32 saves. “[Meyers] had a great second period,” said Pauly. “We still had a chance thanks to him.”
The Red Knights have been plagued recently by injuries. Both junior John Duda and senior Gunnar Knutson were injured in last Tuesday’s game against St. Francis. Duda tore his ACL and is done for the season, while Knutson injured his knee and should be able play again shortly. “I don’t think that it is a coincidence that we’re 0-2 since [these injuries],” said Pauly.
The Red Knights look to rebound in their games this week––on February 17 the Chisago Lakes Wildcats come to the St. Louis Park Rec Center, and on February 19 the Red Knights’ travel to New Hope to take on the Cooper Hawks.