December 21, 2022 at 4:29 p.m.
Prairie Centre finds second win
After falling behind 3-0 to Bagley-Fosston four days earlier, the Prairie Centre North Stars boys’ hockey team learned they had to sharpen their starts if they wanted to compete at a high level.
So, when they took to the ice for a home game against Mora/Milaca Dec. 20, energy was the name of the game, as the North Stars rode a 16-shot, two-goal first period to a 5-2 victory at Sauk Centre Civic Arena in Sauk Centre.
“I think our guys understood that preparation is important and how you start matters,” said Chad Wehrman, head coach.
While it was Prairie Centre who captured immediate puck possession, it was Mora/Milaca who lit the goal lamp first. The visitors made a clean zone entry and scored with little resistance from the North Star defense, but Prairie Centre tied the game shortly thereafter on an Eli Fletcher power-play goal.
Five minutes later, the North Stars received a vital scoring boost from freshman Keegan Christians, who received a beautiful pass from Zac Bick right onto his tape for a breakaway opportunity. Christians fired the puck high past the goalie for his first varsity score, giving Prairie Centre a 2-1 lead.
“The whole bench, when he scored, they erupted,” Wehrman said. “He’s a great kid working his tail off and it’s neat to see it pay off for him.”
The emotional moment around a milestone goal was also found in the second period, as Kyle Sayovitz, a senior defenseman, launched a shot on net and it made its way into the back of the net. It was the upperclassman’s first goal.
“He’s an excellent defensive defenseman, but he put it on net there, and good things happen when you do that,” Wehrman said. “The guys were excited for him.”
Entering the third period, the North Stars controlled a 3-1 advantage. Mora/Milaca pulled to within one goal with an even-strength score, but Fletcher struck for a pair of goals within 21 seconds of each other to provide a crucial cushion. The senior forward has scored nine goals in six games.
“He’s got a great shot and he can bury pucks, but our assistant coaches have really been on him on some of the details and where he’s going with pucks and when he’s shooting and when he’s deking,” Wehrman said.
Carter Holman made 15 saves in net for Prairie Centre, who improved to 2-4 with the hard-fought win.
The North Stars will take part in the MBA Storm Holiday Classic, beginning with a contest against Redwood Valley at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Lee Community Center in Morris.
MM 1 0 1 2
PC 2 1 2 5
First period: 2. Fletcher (Derick Sorenson, Bick) 7:15. 3. Christians (Bick, Isenbart) 12:55. Second period: 4. Sayovitz 4:53. Third period: 6. Fletcher (Sorenson, James Rieland) 11:11. 7. Fletcher 11:32. Goalie: Holman 15-17.
Prairie Centre 5
For about 26 minutes of ice time, the North Stars completed a spirited comeback and more against Bagley/Fosston Dec. 16.
After Bagley/Fosston jumped out to a 3-0 lead, Prairie Centre chipped away with a memorable offensive effort, outscoring Bagley/Fosston 5-1 during this extensive stretch of hockey, digging themselves out of the massive hole and claiming a 5-4 advantage.
Unfortunately for the North Stars, this momentum did not last, as Bagley/Fosston found three more goals in the third period, leaving Bagley Youth Hockey Arena in Bagley with a 7-5 loss.
Aiken Lambrecht scored his first varsity goal on an unassisted tally in the first period, while Fletcher, Bick and Jesse Williams also found the scoreboard in the high-scoring defeat.
PC 1 2 2 5
BF 3 1 3 7
First period: 4. Lambrecht 15:08. Second period: 5. Fletcher 1:15. 7. Fletcher 12:25. Third period: 8. Bick (Rieland, Sorenson) 0:31. 9. Williams (Kris Hanson, Fletcher) 5:49. Goalie: Holman 16-23.