The Morris Benson Area boys' hockey season drew to a close with a 9-3 loss to St. Cloud Apollo in the first round of the Section 6A tournament Saturday at the MAC arena in St. Cloud.
The No. 8 seed Eagles scored twice in each of the first two periods, then blew the game open with a five-goal barrage in the third period. Kelly Engquist, Tanner Picht and Jake Huston scored for the 9th seeded Storm.
The Storm jumped up 1-0 when Kelly Engquist scored an unassisted goal with just under 10 minutes remaining in the opening period. The Eagles responded with two goals (one shorthanded) before the buzzer to take a 2-1 lead into the first-period intermission. Storm goalie Alex Sinclair was credited with eight saves in the period and the Apollo goalie stopped nine.
The Eagles added two more goals in the second period, one with a 5-on-3 power-play advantage. Sinclair made nine saves in the period and Apollo stopped 10.
Apollo effectively put the game away with two goals in the opening 2:33 of the final period, one on the power play, as they took a 6-1 lead. Storm leading scorer Tyler Hansen suffered a wrist injury midway through the second period and was only able to play a couple more shifts for the remainder of the game, further hindering the comeback attempt. Tanner Picht scored on a Hansen assist to draw the Storm to within 6-2, but another power-play goal by the Eagles restored the five-goal deficit soon after.
The Storm did not give in as Jake Huston scored a power-play goal for the Storm with an assist from Ethan Ratliff-Crain. Then Apollo scored the final two goals of the game for the 9-3 final score. Sinclair made 12 saves in the period for a game total of 29 and Apollo made seven for a game total of 26.
The Storm finished the season 11-13-1. Four seniors played the last game of their Storm career, defensemen Jake Manska and Thomas Horecka, forward Josh Taylor, and Sinclair