Laker boys hockey wins, then loses
Two games in 24 hours proved to be one game too many for the Detroit Lakes boys' hockey team, as they went 1-1 through the first two days of the St. Cloud Tournament.
After scoring a solid 7-3 win over St. Cloud Apollo in the Tuesday night opener, the Lakers fell to Sauk Rapids-Rice by the score of 5-3 on Wednesday.
Though they earned a victory Tuesday, head coach Chris Denardo wasn't altogether happy with his team's performance in either of the two games.
"The last two games, even though we won (Tuesday) night, we're still not playing our best hockey," Denardo said on Wednesday, noting that he was hopeful the team could break out of its slump with Thursday's matchup against Mound-Westonka.
(Because of early holiday deadlines, the results of Thursday's game weren't available before this issue of the Record went to press. Look for a wrapup in Wednesday's Detroit Lakes Tribune.)
"We didn't play the best game (Tuesday) night, but we did enough, and capitalized when we needed to," Denardo said.
"We started off a little slow," he continued. "We came out not moving our feet well, and we weren't getting the puck up the ice. It was probably 8 or 9 minutes in that we got that first goal. That seemed to boost our energy."
The Lakers stretched their lead to 4-0 by the end of the first period.
"Once we started to move the puck they weren't able to handle us too easily," the coach added.
Senior forward Nate Baker, the state's second-leading scorer, continued his hot streak, adding three more goals to his points total along with an assist.
"Nate had the hat trick," Denardo said.
Also scoring goals in the winning effort were Alex Mason, Andy Schupp, Ethan Brekke and Kirby Inderreiden, with assists going to Schupp (2), Mason, Derick Brehm and Frantisek Jung.
Goalie Blake Murphy also had a strong showing, saving 38 of 41 shots on goal from St. Cloud Apollo.
Wednesday's loss against Sauk Rapids was only the second of the season for Detroit Lakes, which now boasts a 7-2-0 record.
"We didn't play very well," said the Laker coach bluntly. "We let Sauk Rapids beat us to a lot of pucks.
"We didn't get as many shots on goal (21 total), and Sauk outskated us. They got a lot of shots on our goalie (33) and capitalized a lot more than we did."
Baker was credited with one goal and one assist, with the other two goals in the game going to Mason and Brekke.
Jung and Alex DeConcini also provided assists.
"Sauk Rapids was a good team, and they moved the puck well," Denardo said. "They were a step ahead of us the entire game."