MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. — Wisconsin-Stevens Point forward Tanner Karty punched in a rebound goal 43 seconds into overtime to hand St. Thomas their third loss of the young season by a score of 2-1.
The game was played with high intensity and featured tight checking throughout. St. Thomas outshot Wis.-Stevens Point 35-31, but legitimate scoring chances were sparse as both teams’ goalies gave steady, solid performances.
“The model of this team is defense leads to offense. Good D comes first, quick passes, shutting them down and get the puck to the forwards to let them do their thing,” first-year defender Phil Fromberger said.
Scoring has not come easily to St. Thomas early on this season. Aside from their five-goal outburst against Eau Claire on Thursday, the Tommies have only notched seven goals in five games this season.
“We know we can score, but it hasn’t come easy this season so far,” Fromberger said.
The Tommies can take a lot of positives away from this hard-fought loss. Wis.-Stevens Point finished last season with a 21-5-3 record and has started this season by winning five of their first six games.
“We played a good team. We played well against a good team and I think that helps with a lot of young guys’ confidence. They haven’t had a lot of experience, so hopefully we learn from this in a good way,” Coach Jeff Boeser said. “Sometimes you learn more when you don’t win. I learned a lot about my kids tonight. We didn’t get the result we wanted but I saw a lot of good things.”
The Tommies’ lone goal came off the stick of sophomore forward Johnny Panvica.
“We got a nice break out coming out of our zone, I chipped it out to Brett (Gravelle), Brett threw it back to me. We had a nice little four-on-two rush and I put a nice shot on the net.” Panvica said about his goal.
Panvica and Gravelle have gotten off to nice starts this season. They share the team lead in points with five each.
St. Thomas will not be in action again until Nov. 24 when it takes on Wisconsin-Superior. One area St. Thomas looks to improve over the bye week is its power-play. The Tommies had five different power-play opportunities on Saturday evening and were unable to capitalize on any.
“On the power-play we’ve really got to bear down,” Fromberger said. “We have had our chances, but we’ve got to find a way to finish. We’ve had good puck movement and we’re almost there. We are going to work on it for the next two weeks and really bring it to Superior.”
Kyle Manderfeld can be reached at email@example.com.