Stellan Christensen scored three goals and added an assist, and Josh Huisken scored twice as Minneapolis beat Legacy Christian 9-1 on Wednesday, Jan. 23 in a Two Rivers Conference matchup at Parade Ice Garden marred by the departure of two players – one from each team – on stretchers.
Legacy Christian junior forward Gordy Vitek was hit while breaking the puck out of the Lions’ zone in the first period.
"There was just an open ice check on our guy that happened to catch him wrong,” Legacy Christian coach Steven Larson said. “I don't think that was a dirty play, it was just a tough accident."
There was no word on Vitek's status but Larson believed the injury could be to Vitek’s femur or his knee.
Minneapolis senior forward Joe Guimont was checked and fell into the boards violently midway through the second period. Guimont’s mother, Jill, accompanied him in the back of the ambulance as Guimont was rushed to the hospital.
"It wasn't a real violent game, but there were a lot of penalties called," said Minneapolis head coach Joe Dziedzic. "We had to kill off a lot of 5-on-3's."
Legacy Christian (13-3-2) went 0-for-10 on the power play while Minneapolis (14-3-1) went 2-for-4.
Christensen and Huisken each scored on the power-play for the Novas, who led 3-0 after the first period and 6-1 heading into the third.
Novas’ scoring leader Henry Christman had two assists and an impressive goal as he intercepted a breakout pass and scored on a backhand on Legacy Christian goaltender Tanner Balk.
The goal was Christman’s 33rd of the season, pushing him into a tie with Benilde-St. Margaret’s Grant Besse for the state goal-scoring lead.
Minneapolis had 12 players with points. The Novas have outscored their opponents 111-37 this season.
The victory vaulted the Novas into first place in the Two Rivers, one point ahead of Legacy Christian and the Wisconsin-based co-operative WSFLG.
Minneapolis goaltender T.J. Mosely stopped 18 of 19 shots. Balk made 24 saves.
"It was a good hard physical game, in my opinion I wouldn't say it was dirty," Larson said. "We just came up on the short end.
1. Stellan Christensen, Minneapolis
The junior forward was involved in almost half of Minneapolis' goals. He scored three goals and notched an assist while playing a physical style that made the Novas’ forecheck effective. Christensen’s final game came on a power play in the closing minutes.
2. Henry Christman, Minneapolis
The senior forward scored his 33rd goal of the season, tying him with Benilde-St. Margaret’s standout Grant Besse for the state lead. Christman displayed great hockey smarts, intercepting a breakout pass then making an easy move to the backhand for his goal. With his two assists Christman is tied for second in the state with 55 points.
3. Josh Huisken, Minneapolis
A senior forward, Huisken scored two goals, including one on the power play late in the first period as the Novas surged to a 3-0 lead. Huisken's aggressive play allowed him to win multiple corner battles.