Sophomores Have Night to Remember at Historic Rink
Owatonna's boys hockey team brought home a couple of extra items from the 5-1 win at South St. Paul Tuesday. The Huskies collected a couple of ceremonial pucks at sophomores Taylor Bogen and Devin Rousch each scored their first varsity goal. Junior Zach Kubicek assisted on each of those goals and added a pair of his own.
The OHS win spoiled the home opener for the Packers who are celebrating their 75th year of high school hockey. South St. Paul's rafters are overflowing with banners from the 28 state tournaments they have played in over that time. Original Owatonna hockey coach Dudley Otto was the goalie for a couple of those state tournament teams for South St. Paul. Owatonna recently celebrated its 50th year of high school hockey.
South St. Paul jumped out to the 1-0 lead Tuesday. After being held without a shot on goal for most of the first period, senior defenseman Owen Ramirez stole an errant pass just inside the Huskies blue line and fired it past senior goalie Zach Wiese at 10:14. Wiese stopped the remaining 23 shots he saw.
Before the game, as I sought out Huskies coach Josh Storm, I was told he was working with the varsity team on power plays. Apparently it was a successful meeting. Owatonna took advantage of a series of man-advantages in the middle period. OHS scored three power play goal in an eight-minute stretch as part of a four-goal period.
Bogen tipped in a blast from the point off Casey Johnson's stick at 1:57 to tie the game at 1-1. Rousch let fly with a shot from the blue line at 4:31. Kubicek converted a 4-on-3 power play at 10:01. Junior Dom Valento assisted on the last two of those goals. Senior Collin Pederson scored less than a minute later 4-on-4 for a 4-1 lead going into second intermission.
The Huskies got a little more breathing room on Kubicek's second goal of the game off an assist from Johnson. Kubicek got the puck along the goal line, appeared to kick it to his stick and deposit it past the goalie from close range.
The Packers had plenty of good scoring chances throughout the game, but Wiese was sharp in the crease.
Owatonna won the junior varsity game 2-0 with goals by Ashton Hoffman and Sam Snitker. Hoffman got some ice time in the third period of the varsity game and nearly scored. Tru Gieseke got the win in the pipes. Preston Meier was the varsity backup on Tuesday after playing a good game at Apple Valley on November 30. One of them will get the varsity start Thursday at Winona as Wiese leaves for the Twin Cities Wednesday for the high school football showcase event at US Bank Stadium Saturday, December 7.