Holiday Hockey Highlights Continue
The Duluth East Greyhounds continue on their rollicking run through the Class AA high school hockey season. And it doesn’t let up, with a run of four straight victories following a tough loss at Andover, and it continues this week.
The Greyhounds have a Friday date at Champlain Park and Satudray at Blaine, then wait a week before engaging Stillwater and Minnetonka at Essentia Health-Heritage Center on the first Friday and Saturday in January.
Victories over Cloquet-Esko-Carlton and at Centennial got the Hounds rolling again, and an 8-2 runaway at Marshall led into a 4-1 triumph at Lakeville North last Saturday.
East coach Mike Randolph was taking no chances at Marshall. He shook up hi slines a little, and kept his three-goaltender rotation up as, just like a chef creating a unique soup, he brings the kettle toward its annual playoff boiling point.
Ricky Lyle and Ryder Donovan had two goals each, as did Tyler McGillivray, a junior who has not been as regular on the scoring sheet. Logan Anderson added one goal and three assists as the Greyhounds swarmed in to attack Alex Busick, the 6-foot-6 Hilltoppers goaltender. They succeeded at that, with Charlie Erickson and McGillivray scoring at 3:01 and 3:31 of the first period, then Lyle getting his first at 9:58.
Dakota Oman got one back for Marshall when he crossed the blue line and cut loose with a deadly 60-foot shot past a screening defenseman to beat Konrad Kausch before the period ended. Donovn and Lyle put the game out of reach with second-period goals, but when Keelon Golat got another goal for Marshall to open the third, Anderson, McIllivray and Donovan put in three more.
East outshot Marshall 54-16 for the game, which drew a good crowd that included Marshall’s Brendan Flaherty, who is coming along well in his long recovery from throat cancer. The Hilltoppers have had some highlights, such as losing only 2-1 to Minnetonka, and their tournament could provide some inspiration this week.
East won’t be among those teams in the area tournaments, but the Greyhounds seem to need to summon tournament tempo every game. After whipping Marshall last week, the Greyhounds went to Lakeville North and won 5-1 as Logan Anderson scored two and Donovan had three assists, then broke for Christmas.
Cloquet-Esko-Carlton has got a really rugged week ahead, facing Minnetonka at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Elk River at 2:20 on Friday and Maple Grove at 2:30 Saturday.
Bulldogs head for
UMD assistant coach Jason Herter and Adam Krause will be running the ship as it sails to Glendale, Arizona, for a tournament to test Arizona State’s level as the Sun Devils seek to possibly enter the NCHC in the future.
Ironically, they will first face an old rival, in Minnesota State-Mankato, an old WCHA rival that is the dominant team in the WCHA and has shared the top four region of the national ratings with UMD all season.
Head coach Mike Hastings of MSU-Mankato is the head coach of the U.S. Junior National team and UMD coach Scott Sandelin is his sssistant, so they will both miss Friday’s showdown between the two while at the World Junior Tournament in Vancouver. Joining Sandelin are current Bulldogs Dylan Samberg, Mikey Anderson and freshman wing Noah Cates, so some of UMD’s impressive depth will get a chance to perform.
Wild face test after
The Minnesota Wild has depended on depth and balance to remain in contention in the hotly contested NHL, but losing defenseman Matt Dumba to an old-world NHL “payback” tradition could be costly. Dumba has had a strong season, leading all NHL defensemen in scoring, and aids the power play immensely.
He delivered a stiff check to Calgary’s Mikael Backlund when the Wild faced the Flames on December 6, and when they met again last Saturday at Xcel Energy Center, Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk virtually attacked Dumba in the first minute s payback. Dumba engaged Tkachuk in a nasty fight, and during it, Tkachuk wrenched Dumba’s shoulder severely. While the Wild won’t announce anything other than an “upper body” injury, he will need surgery for repairs, and it seems likely it will be to his shoulder.
That’s tough for the Wild, who hsve enough bodies to get by, and we csn expect to see Jared Spurgeon get a much more prominent role in the Wild scheme. But obviously, the Wild is far better off with both Dumba and Spurgeon playing.