The Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake Moose entered their game at Buffalo Saturday down in the Mississippi 8 standings. After splitting four conference games they found themselves in fourth place in the five-team conference.
After one period, the Moose again found themselves down. This time on the scoreboard, where they were trailing conference leading Buffalo, 3-0.
They were down, but they weren’t out. Instead, the Moose battled back to win the game and climb up the standings.
It started just two minutes into the second period, when Robbie Stromme found the back of the net for the Moose, cutting the deficit to two, and giving the visitors a glimmer of hope.
“You have a little sniff of something good happening, it lifts your spirits,” said Coach Sheldon Weston.
The spirits, and the tally on the Moose side of the scoreboard, continued to climb.
Less than two minutes later Drew Brockman scored a goal to pull the Moose within one. They kept coming. Ninety seconds following the second goal, they added a third. This one from Oliver Winsor, assisted by Brockman.
Just over five minutes into the period, the Moose managed to erase the stink of an ugly first period that included the Moose being charged with a five-minute penalty, and giving up two power play goals. Still, they weren’t satisfied with a tie. The visitors continued to attack, finally breaking all the way through, into the lead, with five minutes to go in the middle period. The fourth, and final goal came from Reese Carstens, as the standout goal-scorer gave the Moose a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Carstens (a senior), Winsor (a junior) and Brockman (a sophomore) make up one of the Moose’s top two lines, and according to Weston the line has been clicking “really well” recently.
“They haven’t been together very long,” he said. “They’re getting better every game.”
Saturday they accounted for three of the four goals in a victory that moved the Moose into a tie for second place in the conference, and gave conference leading Buffalo (5-2) the same number of losses that MAML 4-2) has.
“We have an opportunity now, if we win out, the worst we can do is share a conference title,” said Weston.
Tuesday night they picked up their fourth straight win, 5-4 against Cambridge, thanks to three more second period goals and a third period game winner from Sam Johnson. But the road does not get any easier. The Moose will have to go on the road to take on Rogers (3-3) and St. Michael-Albertville (3-3) to finish the conference season.
But, easy or hard, it’s certainly a road the Moose are quite excited to travel.
The Moose also picked up a section win last week, beating Northern Lakes 4-1 thanks to strong goaltending play from Darien Jones.
“When we needed him to come up big, he did” said Weston of his goaltender, who finished that contest with 31 saves.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at firstname.lastname@example.org