Boys’ hockey suffers 7-1 defeat

Loss highlighted by five third-period goals


Ayelet Prottas

Senior captain Ben Olson celebrates the sole goal of the match Dec. 9. Park lost to Minnetonka 7-1.

Tenzin Gyaldatsang

Following a blowout loss to Minnetonka, sophomore Alexander Hokenson said the team needs to improve its mindset to win.

“I think we’re doing good. We have the right intensity, we just made some small mistakes. We just need to focus,” Hokenson said.

After a first period goal by senior captain Ben Olson, Park was unable to score for the rest of the game. Head coach Ben Horsch said the team’s gameplan coming into the match Dec. 9 played out as planned, with solid defense and tenacity.

“It obviously worked tonight. You get a team like that, top 15, top 10 team in the state, you get a goal lead on them, that’s a big time. But what our kids did tonight was condensed in the D zone,” Horsch said. “We blocked probably 15, 20 shots tonight, which, (although) that’s not our team, that’s the kind of culture we’re trying to bring, so that was really nice to see.”

Minnetonka attacked heavy on offense, racking up 64 shots on goal. According to sophomore Drew Hoenie, the team needs to work on its consistency throughout the whole match.

“We played well the first two periods. Third period we kind of ran out of gas. Our goalie played well. We have to be better in the last ten minutes,” Hoenie said.

Horsch said although the second period didn’t go as expected, the team is beginning to reap the fruits from its labor.

“They’re starting to see (if) they put in the right position, just compete, that we can be there with any team, whether we get outshot or not. We got one of the best goalies not in the state, but the whole country,” Horsch said. “We got to start doing the right things every single period, not just one.”

Horsch said despite the 7-1 loss, sophomore goalie Josh Middleton’s performance was imperative to the team’s stability during the first two periods.

“I don’t really care what hockey hub or any of that stuff says, the big thing is just Josh (Middleton). Josh played such a good game tonight and kept these kids in it the whole time. And it was a little upsetting at the end that they got five goals in about 10 minutes,” Horsch said. “Josh keeps us in every single game and he will the whole season, we have to back him up a little bit more and that’s not something that we’ve been able to do this season yet.”

Park is set to face off against Bloomington Kennedy 7 p.m. Dec. 14 at the St. Louis Park Recreation Center.