The Morris Benson Area boys split two games, defeating Prairie Centre 3-1 on Thursday, and losing a Southwest Conference game to Luverne 4-3 in overtime Saturday. The Storm is now 8-11-1 overall, and 6-5 in the conference, which is still good for a second-place tie.
Morris Benson 3
Prairie Centre 1
On Thursday in Long Prairie, Alex Sinclair made 44 saves as the Storm overcame 10 penalties called on them over the final 25 minutes of the game and held on for the 3-1 win. Included in the penalties were four five-on-three North Star advantages.
Tyler Hansen got the Storm on top early with a goal at the 10:26 mark of the opening period with an assist from Brady Valnes. Prairie Centre's Tyler Schultz tied the score at 6:54 and it was 1-1 heading into the first-period break. Shots on goal were 11-5 in favor of the North Stars.
The second period was scoreless until the final minutes when Prairie Centre was given a full two-minute five-on-three power play. They managed to get several shots on goal during the power play, but Sinclair made save after save as the Storm kept them off of the board.
Then, just after the power play expired, Ethan Ratliff-Crain and Luke Schwarz converted a two-on-one situation for the Storm as Schwarz knocked home the rebound of Ratliff-Crain's' shot with just 1.2 seconds remaining in the period. With all of the power play advantages that the North Stars had in the period they outshot the Storm by a 19-5 margin.
The third period was a replay of the second as the Storm was given five more penalties spending half of the period shorthanded. Prairie Centre had a five-on-three advantage for more than three minutes starting with 4:47 left in the game, but Sinclair and the Storm penalty kill would not give in as they turned aside opportunity after opportunity for the North Stars. Hansen finally gave the Storm some breathing room when he scored an unassisted empty-net goal with just 54 seconds remaining in the game.
Sinclair made 15 more third-period saves for his game total of 44, while the Prairie Centre goalie, Aaron Olson, made four for a game total of 13.
Morris Benson 3
Matt Huot was given the start in goal for the Storm on Saturday and he turned in a fine performance in a close, hard-fought game with Luverne at the Lee Community Center in Morris. The first period was scoreless as Huot made six saves and Cardinal goalie, Nathan Thompson, made 11.
Luverne converted two breakaway situations into goals and added a short-handed goal midway into the second period to take a 3-0 lead. The Storm kept battling however, and it paid off when Hansen scored with an assist from Tanner Picht with just over two minutes remaining in the period to make the score 3-1 after two. Each goalie stopped seven shots in the second.
Hansen scored again, short-handed, early in the third period assisted by Mac Beyer and Schwarz to draw the Storm to within 3-2. Huot did his part, stopping all six shots that he saw in the period and it paid off when Schwarz took a break-out pass from Kelly Engquist and beat Thompson for a goal with 3:31 remaining to tie the score.
A Storm penalty gave the Cardinals a power play early in the overtime period and Luverne converted on the only shot of the extra session for the 4-3 win. Huot was credited with 19 saves in the game and Thompson with