Blue boys third in DuluthWoodbury Bantam B1-Blue hockey team excels up north.
By: Jay Behnken , Woodbury Bulletin
The Woodbury Bantam B1-Blue hockey team traveled to Duluth for the Head of the Lakes Hockey Classic on Friday, Dec. 18 and brought home third-place laurels two days later.
In their first game of the tournament on Friday, the 12th-ranked Woodbury boys would face off against No. 9 Eden Prairie.
After jumping off to a 3 – 0 lead on goals by Geno DeMike, Mike Hamilton and Evan Roepke, Blue claimed its first victory of the tournament with a final 3-1 win as goaltender Connor Kwiatkowski made 24 saves.
Getting to sleep in a little bit the next morning before an 11:30 a.m. start, Woodbury faced a familiar District 8 foe in 13th-ranked Eagan Green.
Jumping off to a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Roepke and Nick Leach, it looked like Blue would have the game under control until Eagan scored a couple of unanswered goals to knot the game at 2-all.
In the second period, Woodbury’s third goal third was popped in by defenseman Joey Schutz, but Eagan answered to tie the score and took a 4-3 lead in the third.
However, Woodbury would again tie the score (4-4) on a goal by DeMike to force the game into overtime, which Blue won in the third extra session as Jake Nickoloff converted a centering pass from Hamilton for the golden goal.
After heading off to get a late lunch, Woodbury faced No. 2-ranked Osseo/Maple Grove.
It was a battle of goaltenders with Woodbury’s Nick Maki having an outstanding performance making 24 saves, but losing 1-0 as the Crimson were just one score better.
Blue enjoyed an evening out with their heads held high before returning to tourney play on Sunday for a third-place game against another District 8 rival, Lakeville South.
Woodbury had little trouble with the Cougars, as goals from Jacob Miller, DeMike, Leach, Nickoloff, Schutz and two from Roepke, helped Blue cruise to a 6-0 victory with netminders Kwiat-kowski and Maki splitting time in the net to share the shutout.