Holy Family 3, Moorhead 2
A battle of top ten teams took place at the Dakotah! Ice Center as part of the final day of the Hockey for Life showcase put on by Youth Hockey Hub. The Holy Family Fire came into the game ranked number seven in the coaches' poll and Moorhead Spuds was ranked number eight. The Minn Puck power rankings had the Fire at number six and Moorhead at number nine. This was the one game I had circled as a must see in the showcase and first time seeing both teams in-person as opposed to online streaming. My Minn Puck colleague was excited about this Holy Family team, so I was anxious to see what they were about. Ben Almquist and Garrett Pinoniemi are the main scorers for the Fire. The Spuds have the explosive Carter Randklev, or "Randle", as the Moorhead faithful refer to him, and Jack Stetz. A solid crowd for a noon game was on hand to watch this marquee matchup.
The first period had no scoring with the two teams playing pretty evenly, although I gave Moorhead the slight edge in terms of scoring opportunities. Holy Family's John Simon had a breakaway to break open the scoring, but was stopped by Lance Leonard.
|Lance Leonard made 20 of 23 saves against Holy Family (Photo by Brianna Burnham)|
|Conan Hayton in net for Holy Family stopping 29 of 31 shots (Photo by Brianna Burnham)|
It was an entertaining game, and was the best game I have seen in person so far this season. These are the kind of games I enjoy - the 2-1, 3-2, or 4-3 affairs where you have some offense and defense. Both teams used the boards quite a bit to move the puck up ice and relied less on tape-to-tape passes. It was also another visit to an arena I have not been to before, and enjoyed the Dakotah Ice Center. It has an expansive lobby and the main rink has two floors for viewing the action.