Owatonna Boys Skate to Home-Opening Hockey Victory
Owatonna celebrated a victory Friday night 6-5 over St. Francis while playing in their newly renovated rink in their brand new black jerseys.
A day after the season-open loss to Apple Valley, the Huskies found themselves down a goal less than three minutes into the game against an experienced Fighting Saints team. The Huskies evened the game at 4:02 on Mitchell Mayer's goal off a nice pass from Kodey Kiel. Mitchell Wiese also assisted. Adam Rehman scored back-to-back times to increase Owatonna's lead to 3-1 in the closing minute of the first period. However St. Francis forced the puck into the Owatonna net a fraction of a second before the first period ended.
The Huskies struck quickly in the second as Carter Broton fired a laser beam of a shot past the Saints' net minder 14 seconds in the period off a pass from Rehman, who had a four-point night. Kiel scored a power play goal midway through the second with assists to Nate Smith and John Swenson to give OHS a 5-2 lead after two.
St. Francis scored a controversial goal in the opening minute of the third period while killing off a five-minute major penalty. A referee ruled the puck went into the net, though others felt it hit the pipe or was deflected away. In fact the puck was at center ice while the official was pointing at the goal. That brought the Fighting Saints to within 5-3. Tyler Wencl finished a flurry in front of the net for a 6-3 Huskies lead at 10:11 of the third. St. Francis scored two unanswered goals after that and pulled their goalie with just under two minutes left but couldn't get the equalizer.
The game was the first for the boys in the recently updated Four Seasons Centre, which features new, blue plastic bleachers. The player benches have been moved to the same side as the score table to allow for a clearer view of the action for the home fans.
The Fighting Saints outshot the Huskies 40-19. Jacob Dub made 35 saves for the win. Owatonna (1-1) opens their Big Nine schedule Thursday at Albert Lea. St. Francis (1-1) plays at Dodge County on Saturday.
The Owatonna Blue Line Club hosts the annual Windsor Chop fundraising dinner and auction Saturday at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Social time begins at 5:30PM with dinner at 6:30PM. Limited tickets remain for the event at the door.