Boys’ hockey falls 7-3 to second ranked Hill-Murray

Jeremy Pastir, Staff Writer

Cacophony filled the XCEL Energy Center as Grant Besse raised both arms above his head in jubilation moments after burning the Hill Murray defense, and landing a dagger against goaltender John Dugas with his fifth goal that night. That night, the boy’s hockey team dominated the final moments of their journey to their first Class AA State Championship. However, Hill Murray would not forget —- or forgive —– this thrashing.

Fast forward two seasons, and the boy’s hockey team has yet to claim a victory against Hill Murray since 2012, losing on December 7, 2013 with the score being 7-3. Hill Murray dominated most of the game, leading after the first period 1-0, and after the second period 3-1. The third period completely turned into a nightmare for the Red Knights, who found themselves suddenly trailing 6-1 just seven minutes in. “We had a decent start, we hung around through the first half of the game, we skated with them, and at many points did control the play of the game,” said senior captain Spencer Naas, who had one goal on the night.

Penalties served as a blessing and a curse for BSM, with Spencer Naas and Carter Roo scoring power-play goals, respectively, late in the game. However, they were ultimately what brought the red knights down, as Hill Murray scored on 3 of 4 power-plays. Another issue that faced BSM was their inability to convert on power-plays when given the chance, only scoring on 2 of 5, and scoring late when a victory would be a once-in-a-lifetime rally. Also on the topic of conversions, BSM outshot Hill Murray 39-29, only to be stuffed by goaltender Sam Ilgen on 92% of their shots. “They converted at crucial times, and those were definitely backbreakers. While it was ugly at points there were still positive things, [the fact] that we have the ability to control play when we play our game is enough to prove that it shouldn’t have been a 7-3 game, but they did deserve to win—-they did outplay us,” said Naas.

Next, the boys will face an ever improving, yet still relatively weaker team in Holy Family. “We can definitely handle them if we play the way we can—-but if we don’t show up… Well it could definitely get interesting,” said Naas.