Wayzata's Matthew Freytag (15) fires a shot on goal with Hill-Murray's Ryan Black chasing. Freytag had two goals as Wayzata knocked off No. 1-ranked Hill-Murray. Photo by Brian Nelson
A packed house, the top ranked team in the building and a No. 4 ranking itself, Wayzata had all settings in place potentially knock down No. 1 Hill-Murray
The picture was taking place until the Pioneers' Mitch Slattery scored 2 minutes, 12 seconds into the first period.
Would the wind be taken out of the sails for the Trojans?
For just about a blink of an eye.
Just 20 seconds after Slattery opened the scoring, Wayzata's Matthew Freytag scored the first of his two goals and the Trojans took down Hill-Murray 3-1 on Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Plymouth Ice Center.
The public address announcer did not even complete crediting Slattery's goal before Freytag found the back of the net with a wrist shot that beat Pioneers' goalie Jon Dugas.
Later in the first he beat Dugas again with another wrist shot that was placed perfectly in the upper shelf to give Wayzata a 2-1 lead.
Needless to say, the Trojans got over the opening goal.
"We didn't talk much about it after they scored," Freytag said. "It was pretty much business as usual."
"There is not much you can do, but just get to playing," Wayzata coach Pat O'Leary said. "They got a shot and put in the rebound. I was happy with how we bounced back after that and how it really didn't faze us to be down a goal."
Freytag, a sophomore, was joined together with freshman Max Zimmer and the young duo proved to be dynamic offensive tandem.
Along with his two goals Freytag had plenty of other opportunities to at the very least get a hat trick.
Zimmer assisted on Freytag's first goal and used his stellar ice vision to connect with him on several other occasions for quality scoring chances.
"We put them together a couple nights ago and for as young as they are, they are playing really well," O'Leary said. "Matt (Freytag) was feeling it today and Max (Zimmer) was getting him the puck and it was fun to watch them play."
In addition to its top line playing well Wayzata stuck to what has been a trademark of its play this season. Blocking shots.
Hill-Murray had two power plays and had a hard time getting anything going.
Wayzata collapsed the middle of the ice while the Pioneers tried to find its defensemen for shots at the point.
What was beginning to look like a replay the Trojans deflected shots, cleared the puck and got fresh players on the ice.
"They do a really nice job blocking shots," Hill-Murray coach Bill Lechner said. "It's a big sheet of ice that they have, but they find ways to prevent a lot of puck movement and pucks getting to the net. You have to give them credit for doing that."
The Trojans have had plenty of big games this season, but no home game this year can match up to what they faced on Jan. 12 against Hill-Murray.
The Pioneers came in as the top ranked team in Class AA and the Plymouth Ice Center was filled to capacity.
Wayzata's student section was filled and boisterous while donning various NHL jerseys.
With every scoring chance and big hit the noise was more audible than any average regular season game.
"It was a lot of fun to play in front of them," Freytag said. "It was loud and really exciting and I think we fed off that energy. It was just a great atmosphere to play in."
It was a great crowd and I am just happy we played a really good game in front of them," O'Leary said. "At the beginning of the season, I am not sure if word was out about us, but now we are getting some big crowds in here and we love our home fans and playing in this place. We had the No. 1 team in the state tonight and we played a really good game in front of them."
Wayzata players celebrate sophomore Matt Freytag's second goal. Photo by Brian Nelson
Two nights before Wayzata's 3-1 victory against No. 1 Hill-Murray it had a 4-0 lead in the third period over Burnsville.
In the final six minutes of the third the Blaze scored three goals an nearly completed an impressive comeback.
The Trojans were in a similar situation heading into the final period against Hill-Murray, but the lead was only two and it was against the top ranked team in the state.
With the memory of nearly giving up a lead still fresh in its memory, Wayzata stuck to the style of play that worked in the previous two periods to control the third against the Pionners.
"Two nights ago against Burnsville we fell asleep and it nearly cost us," O'Leary said. "We know you can't do that, especially against these guys, so we just wanted to make sure we played for a full 51 minutes and I am proud to say that we did."
Wayzata did not sit back and try to just defend a two-goal lead.
It maintained its aggressive play and had the better scoring chances in the final period.
One of the more dangerous leads to have in the sport, the Trojans were persistent in the offensive zone kept Hill-Murray bottled up in its own zone.
"We played a lot better in the third tonight than we did against Burnsville," Freytag said. "What happened on Thursday is not something that we wanted to have happen again."
Hill-Murray's Zach Miller collides with Matt Freytag as the Pioneers tried to slow the Wayzata sophomore. Freytag leads the Trojans in scoring this season. Photo by Brian Nelson
The Pioneers fired 28 shots on goal, but Mitch Slattery's quick score in the first was the only one that went in. Photo by Brian Nelson
Matthew Freytag scored two goals, both in the first period as No. 4-ranked Wayzata defeated No. 1-ranked Hill-Murray 3-1 on Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Plymouth Ice Center.
Hill-Murray took a 1-0 lead when Mitch Slattery knocked in his own rebound past Trojans' goalie Aaron Dingmann.
Just 20 seconds later Freytag scored his first when he beat Pioneers' goalie Jon Dugas in the upper right corner.
Freytag scored his second on another wrist shot the found the upper shelf to give Wayzata a 2-1 lead.
In the second Chase Haller got a couple of cracks on Dugas and his second attempt went in to give the Trojans a 3-1 lead.
Late in the third, Hill-Murray did not get a chance to pull Dugas for the extra attacker because of two consecutive cross-checking penalties.
Dugas finished with 29 saves while Dingmann made 27.
Hill-Murray will drop to 12-2-1 and Wayzata will improve to 13-2-0.
The Pioneers will next host Lakeville North on Jan. 17 at Aldrich Arena.
Wayzata will take on Holy Family Catholic on Jan. 17 at the Plymouth Ice Center.
Wayzata's Jack Sorensen dishes a big hit on Hill-Murray junior Ryan Black. Photo by Brian Nelson
Trojan Aaron Dingmann makes a stick save. Dingmann stopped 27 of 28 Pioneer shots. Photo by Brian Nelson
1. Matthew Freytag, Wayzata
After Hill-Murray scored to open the first period, Freytag scored the first of his two goals just 20 seconds later. The sophomore would add his second later in the first period on a wrist shot that beat Pioneers goalie Jon Dugas for what would be the eventual game-winner.
2. Aaron Dingmann, Wayzata
After a 2011-12 season that was lost due to injury, the senior is making up for it with big performances and huge wins. He made 27 saves and again was solid against one of the state's best teams. Dingmann made all the saves that he was supposed to make and was a rock when the Trojans were put on their heels.
3. Jon Dugas, Hill-Murray
The Pioneers faced some furious rushes, but the senior goaltender kept his team in the game with 29 saves. In the first period the Pioneers could have been down by more than one goal, but Dugas made several huge stops and did not let Wayzata gain even more momentum.
Hill-Murray's John Dugas stopped 29 of 32 shots. Photo by Brian Nelson