The Morris Benson Area boys travelled to Breezy Point Dec. 27-29 for the Northern Lakes Invitational and came home with a 2-1 record. Northern Lakes and Red Lake Falls also finished the round robin tournament at 2-1 to create a three-way first place tie. Bagley/Fosston was 0-3.
The Storm enter the new year with a 5-3 overall record and are 2-0 in the Southwest Conference.
Morris Benson 5
Red Lake Falls 4
The Storm took on Red Lake Falls in the opening round and held on for a 5-4 win.
Red Lake Falls got on the scoreboard first with a goal 3:29 into the game, but the Storm struck twice in an 18-second span two minutes later to lead 2-1 after one. Defenseman Isaac Berens got the first goal for the Storm with Tyler Hansen picking up the lone assist, and then Tanner Picht scored assisted by Mac Beyer and Hansen.
Goalie Andrew Fath came up with nine saves in the period with the Eagles' goalie coming up with five.
Beyer scored twice in the first 2:03 in the second period to stretch the Storm lead to 4-1. Picht assisted on each of the goals and Jake Huston added an assist on the second.
The Eagles added two consecutive goals midway through the period before Brody Gimberlin banged home the eventual game winner on a power play to make the score 5-3 at the end of the second period. Ethan Ratliff-Crain and Kelly Engquist picked up assists on the goal.
Fath made four saves in the period and the Eagles' goalie had three.
Fath kept the third period scoreless until just 49 seconds remained as the Eagles scored after creating a 6-on-5 advantage by pulling their goalie. The Storm then was able to run out the clock to preserve the 5-4 win.
Fath made nine saves in the period for a game total of 22 while the Storm had just four shots on goal as the Eagle goalie ended up with 12 saves for the game.
Northern Lakes 10
Morris Benson 4
In the second round the host team Northern Lakes dominated the Storm on the scoreboard with a 10-4 win.
Beyer gave the Storm a lead with a power-play goal early in the initial period with Jordan Staples picking up an assist, but the Lightning scored the next three goals to lead 3-1 after one.
Fath came up with seven saves in the period and Northern Lakes came up with eight.
The second period was all Lightning as they added four more goals with the Storm only getting another power-play goal, this time from Engquist assisted by Huston. Northern Lakes led 7-2 after two.
Fath had 11 saves in the period and the Lightning goalie had eight.
An unassisted power-play goal by Staples and a goal by Luke Schwarz assisted by Engquist briefly gave the Storm some momentum as they drew to within 7-4 midway through the third period. However, the Lightning added three more goals before the end of the game to close out the 10-4 win. Fath made five saves in the period for a game total of 23, and the Northern Lakes goalie had six for a game total of 22.
Morris Benson 4
The final round of the tournament had the Storm taking on Bagley/Fosston for a 4-2 victory.
The Storm started slow as the Flyers took a 1-0 lead after the first period. Fath again was in goal for the Storm. Shots on goal were not available for this game.
The Storm came out strong in the second period as Kelly Engquist scored unassisted and then Berens knocked in a rebound of a Picht shot on the power play with Huston picking up a second assist just minutes later. Hansen finished the scoring in the period with a goal assisted by Darion Helberg. The assist gave Helberg his first varsity point.
The 3-1 lead held up until just two minutes remained in the game when the Flyers scored to make the score 3-2. Then Engquist iced the game a minute later with an unassisted empty-net goal and the Storm had a 4-2 win.
Upcoming home games for Morris Benson Area include contests against Redwood Valley at 7 p.m. in Benson on Tuesday, Jan. 4, a 3 p.m. game against Worthington on Saturday, Jan 8 in Morris, and a rematch with Northern Lakes in Morris at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11.