The St. Thomas club hockey team battled for a 5-3 win over Robert Morris Friday night at Parade Ice Gardens in Minneapolis.
The game had no lack of physical play as both teams fought it out in front of the net and in the corners all game long.
St. Thomas also had to test its special teams, racking up 30 minutes in penalties.
“I was on them all game about the penalties,” coach Don Bell said. “Some of them were just stupid.”
Despite having to play shorthanded for a good portion of the game, the Tommies only gave up one power play, which came six minutes into the third period after forward Blake Johnson was called for tripping.
The Tommies got on the board early, when captain Mike Iverson deflected a shot from defenseman Mike Lane at the point. The goal came just four minutes into the game and gave the Tommies the lead for most of the first period as Robert Morris tied the game up 17 minutes into the first period.
Two St. Thomas goals within one minute
Starting the second period tied 1-1, the second session belonged to the Tommies. Erik Fryklund and Brock Pederson helped St. Thomas score two goals within a minute of each other.
The period was still highlighted by Joe Bealka’s penalty shot at the end of the period. Bealka was interfered with while in front of the net, causing the referee to call the shot after the buzzer had blown.
On the penalty shot, Bealka skated down the ice, faked a wrist shot to the upper right corner and cut to his back hand. Then Bealka flipped the puck over the goalie’s shoulder to give the Tommies a 4-2 advantage going into the final period.
“I had never taken one before so I basically thought of a move that I had done before and was pretty confident,” Bealka said. “I just got lucky and got it in.”
Bealka’s goal was more than enough for the Tommies to cap off the victory, but Fryklund closed the Tommies’ scoring with a goal midway through the third period on a one-on-one break beating the goalie with a deke through the five hole.
Robert Morris did keep the pressure on by racking up another goal but was unable to close the gap.
Captain Blake Gauer was happy the team was able to pull off the victory but said it was tough having to watch 16 minutes from the penalty box. Gauer had two minor penalties and a 10-minute major for slashing late in the second period.
“It’s never fun watching the game from the penalty box,” Gauer said. “But I guess it gave me fresh legs for the third.”
Brian Matthews can be reached at email@example.com