Detroit Lakes boys hockey lackluster in loss to Wadena-Deer Creek
After posting its biggest win of the season against Fergus Falls on New Year's Eve day, the Detroit Lakes boys' hockey team had a letdown against visiting Wadena-Deer Creek Thursday with a 5-3 loss.
The Wolverines controlled both the second and third periods to score the eventual winning and insurance goals.
W-DC outshot the Lakers 16-10 in the second period to establish a 4-3 lead, then added insurance by converting a goal on one of their two power plays on the night at the 11:10 mark.
The Lakers were just 1-5 on power plays, while applying little pressure on W-DC goalie Tyler Muehler during those man-advantage opportunities.
Wolverine leading scorer Trevor Ness also was a thorn in the side of the Lakers, after going for a hat trick to score his 28th point on the season (18 goals and 10 assists).
"It's disappointing, after playing great for the last two weeks to have an effort like that in front of the home crowd," said DL head coach Chris Denardo. "The boys just didn't come out to play."
The Wolverines' scoring plays came with lots of open ice in front of DL goalie Andrew Friesen, who finished with 29 saves.
"We consistently got beat to the puck and (W-DC) was able to establish their forecheck," Denardo said. "We've shown, when we are aggressive and beat people to the puck, we win."
It didn't take long for the scoring to get underway, with W-DC defenseman Joey Osborn scoring 1:40 into the game after he went untouched in front of Friesen and picked up a rebound for the unassisted tally.
But the Lakers responded quickly, as Nate Baker found himself alone staring down Muehler for a point blank rebound shot on the W-DC net just 12 seconds later.
The rebound came off a Chad Maristuen shot on goal.
The Wolverines' passing attack was sharp, as was proven on their next at the 7:57 mark.
A nice pass from the blue line by a W-DC defenseman found Ness -- and led to the first of his three goals -- as he was able to skate behind the DL defense.
He turned the one-on-one opportunity into a 2-1 lead after putting it upper shelf on Friesen.
But DL's leading scorer, forward Tanner Lane, marked up his 21st goal of the season and showed why having an open lane to the goalie is dangerous.
Defenseman Bryant Swenson found the swift-skating Lane near the W-DC blue line, where he out-maneuvered a Wolverine defenseman.
Lane was able to fill the left slot by out-flanking the W-DC defenseman, giving him a clear shot over the right shoulder of Muehler to tie the game 2-2.
But the second period was mostly W-DC occupying DL's zone by snapping off 16 shots on net, with two goals resulting.
A nice cross pass from Ness to Dylan Carlisle set up the Wolverine forward untouched, and he was able to juke left and put the puck past Friesen for the tie-breaking goal at 3-2.
DL had two power play opportunities after the goal, but managed just two shots on net, with the third one finding home at the 6:26 mark.
After a tripping infraction was called on W-DC, forward Brett Provo found a crease for a point-blank shot, that coming off an Alex Phelps face-off win and a quick pass by Davis Johnson.
With the Wolverines controlling the puck in the latter stages of the second period, they broke through for the go-ahead score with 2:16 remaining.
Again, the DL defense couldn't clear the traffic in front of Friesen and W-DC took advantage of the open ice on an Osborn pass from in front of the blue line to Ness, who made a hard shot past Friesen.
A deflection on a power-play series by Ness on a Kyle Beiswenger shot from the left side gave the visitors the 5-3 lead.
DL fired off a flurry of shots in the waning minutes of the game with a two-man advantage after a Wolverine penalty led to Denardo pulling Friesen off the ice, but it went for naught.
The power play was a strength for the Lakers in the Fergus Falls tournament, but became a liability Thursday.
"We just didn't capitalize on our power play," Denardo said. "We had two to three missed open netters. Our power play came to life in the Fergus Falls tournament and the guys were making the quick passes.
"It was the exact 180-degrees different tonight."
The win improves W-DC to 6-5-0 and drops the Lakers to 4-6-0.
DL will have some time to iron out the wrinkles, with its next game not until Thursday, when they host Red Lake Falls at 7:30 p.m.
Wadena-Deer Creek at Detroit Lakes, Thursday, Jan. 8.
Wolverines 2 2 1 - 5
Lakers 2 1 0 - 3
First period -- 1. WDC, Joey Osborn (UA) 1:40; 2. DL, Nate Baker (Chad Maristuen) 1:52; 3. WDC, Trevor Ness (UA) 9:03; 4. DL, Tanner Lane (Bryant Swenson) 15:16.
Second period -- 5. WDC, Dylan Carlisle (Ness) :44; 6. DL, PP Brett Provo (Davis Johnson, Alex Phelps) 10:33; 7. WDC, Ness (Osborn) 14:44.
Third period -- 8. WDC, PP Ness (Beiswenger) 6:50.
Saves -- DL (Andrew Friesen) 7-14-8 -- 29...WDC (Tyler Muehler) 6-9-8 -- 23.
Power plays -- DL 1-5...WDC 1-2.