MHS Hockey Advances to Challenge Cup Semi-Finals
After a two game series between MHS and Saint Louis University High School (SLUH), the Mustangs are set to advance to the semi-finals of the 2021 High School Hockey Challenge Cup.
Game one started off positive for the Mustangs, jumping to an early two goal lead, with goals from freshman Colin Farrell, , and senior Brett Zimmer, right winger.
As the game transitioned into the second period, SLUH answered back with two quick goals. The game proved to be a tight one as the third period advanced.
Both teams traded shots, as game one dwindled down to the final two minutes of the game when junior Ty Stultz, left winger, got called for a roughing minor on an illegal check.
With a five on four in favor of the opposition, SLUH’s forward carried the puck over the blue line, centering it to his counterpart for a goal with 56 seconds remaining in regulation.
“It was a tough penalty to take with the amount of time left on the clock,” Stultz said. “When they scored to win game 1, everyone knew we would be back to win tomorrow.
Game two showed a rejuvenated MHS team. Once again jumping out to a 1-0 lead, the Mustangs found the back of the net in the second period, after a shot at the blue line from junior Ryan McDonald, defensmen, was tipped off Stultz’s stick.
“It felt great to put our team in a position to win the game,” Stultz said. “After taking the lead for a second game, all the boys gave their all to defend it. That’s why we came out on top.”
The Mustangs managed to hold SLUH’s attack scoreless in the third to take game two, and, ultimately, force a 10-minute mini game. The mini game would act as a shorter deciding game three that would decide the winner of the quarterfinals match up.
As the final 10 minutes ticked past, both teams saw multiple opportunities to take the lead as the mini game continued. With two minutes remaining, SLUH began to pour on the pressure, yet junior Isaac Weatherford, goalie, held the game scoreless, completing a shutout and saving a total 20 shots on the night.
The game was heading to a shootout. For nine rounds MHS and SLUH continued to match makes and misses, seeing shootout goals from Stultz, Zimmer and Trent Lewis, freshman.
“Shootouts are really just a rush of emotion,” Zimmer said. “When you skate up to the puck to take your shot, everything stops, and it’s just you playing hockey. Then you score, and it’s back to the adrenaline rush.”
Finally, as senior John Bush, forward, netted his shot, the game came down to one more SLUH shooter. Skating down the ice, Weatherford added another pad save to his night, seeing out an MHS victory and a swarm of electrified Mustangs piling onto him in celebration.
MHS hockey is set to face off against De Smet Jesuit High School Saturday, Feb. 20, in the semi-finals at Centene Community Ice Center.
Carter Van Buskirk, sophomore, is a staff reporter for the Messenger. Carter plays varsity soccer for MHS. He is a board member for the sophomore class...