Park rallies for 3-2 win over East Ridge
Park rallied from a 2-0 deficit after two periods to score a 3-2 win over rival East Ridge in a wild Suburban East Conference contest Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena.
The Wolfpack pushed three goals across in the third period, including the game winner by Keegan Oberding with 3:07 to play. Park scored twice in the last 4:25 to earn the hard-fought win.
"We wanted it a lot more," Oberding said. "We came out harder than them and we battled."
Matt Moreland scored both of Park's other goals.
"The best thing we did was fight through the adversity," Moreland said. "We were down two-nothing and we just bounced back and we never gave up."
Park evened its conference record at 4-4-1 with the win and stand 7-9-2 on the season.
East Ridge slipped to 4-5 in the SEC and 7-9 overall.
The win gave Park a sweep of the season series. The Wolfpack took the first meeting between the two teams this year, winning 4-2 back on Dec. 7 led by two goals from Oberding and another from Moreland.
"We're a team that relies on momentum," Park coach Jay Moser said. "We don't have a lot of scoring power. We need a lot of chances to score goals usually. And we were getting a lot of chances that second period and the third and it wasn't going in. All it takes is that first one and we get some energy and we fed on that and battled and put pucks on net and we love ugly goals and we got a couple of them."
After a scoreless first period, East Ridge powered in back-to-back goals in the second period and look to be taking command of the game. Marco Troje scored on a power play at the 6:25 mark and then Tanner Stafne made it a 2-0 game at 12:14.
But Park awoke with a vengeance in the third period. Moreland scored twice in a row, the first on a power play and an assist from Ryan Lucas and then second off a pass from Oberding.
"Once we gained the momentum we never gave it back," Moreland said. "We just kept trucking."
Oberding then powered in the game-winner off an assist from Grant Glazier.
The Raptors appeared to have evened the match a minute later, but that goal was controversially waved off.
"We just knew we couldn't give up," Oberding said. "They were getting a couple of lucky bounces and we knew some were going to come our way. So keep it up and keep pounding them and we're going to get some goals.
"I just think we played as a team," Oberding added. "No one gave up and helped us come back."
The Wolfpack outshot the Raptors 39-25, including a big 17-to-9 margin in the decisive third period.
Park junior Michael Gille got his first high school win in goal, stopping 23 of 25 shots.
Goalie Tommy Ogren also played well for East Ridge, knocking away 36 shots.
The two teams combined for 27 penalty minutes and several hard checks and a couple of minor fights broke out — especially in the third — all pretty standard play for matches between these two heated rivals.
East Ridge skates against winless Roseville (0-10, 0-15) Saturday at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena with a puck drop of 3:15 p.m.
Park hosts Stillwater (5-3, 8-6) Tuesday, Jan. 23, starting at 7:30 p.m.