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Boys ice first win
New Prague’s boys hockey team won its first game of the season Thursday, Dec. 13, claiming a 2-0 win over Mahtomedi, which was ranked No. 11 in Class A.
The Trojans used a strong defensive game and two timely goals to score the win.
Sophomore Casey Busch scored the game’s first goal on the power play, with a shot from the point that deflected off the goaltender’s stick. That came at 14:17 of the first period. Nick Sampson and Jake Witt assisted on the goal.
The Zephyrs had been the aggressor early in the contest, but after their goal the Trojans started getting more scoring chances. They outshot Mahtomedi 12-6 in the second period. However there would be no more scoring until 14:57 of the third period when Jordan Lein gave New Prague a two-goal advantage, with an assist from Sampson.
New Prague goaltender Evan Bisek stopped all 18 shots he faced to take the shutout win.
The Trojans outshot Mahtomedi 21-18.
“It was nice to see the boys get rewarded for their hard work after a couple tough losses,” said Trojan coach Chris Lonke. “We have seen some young players grab some valuable experience early in the season,” he said, noting both Busch and Lein’s goals were their first varsity goals.
Lonke also pointed to veteran leaders such as Bisek and junior Austin Kilian, who did a great job on the penalty kill, sacrificing his body to block shots. During a 30-second span on one penalty kill Kilian had lost his stick and still managed to block two shots with his body.
“That is what it takes to win games in our conference and section,” Lonke stressed.
New Prague was scheduled to face Chanhassen Tuesday, Dec. 18, in their first Missota Conference game of the season. They will travel to Farmington Friday, Dec. 21.
The Trojans will compete in the South St. Paul Premiere Classic beginning Wednesday, Dec. 26. The Trojans face host South St. Paul in the first round at 8:15 p.m. New Prague also plays Thursday and Friday against teams to be determined.
“We are looking forward to the strong field in this tournament,” said Lonke. “It’s a great opportunity to get the nuts and bolts of our depth/roster evaluated.”
Other teams in the tournament include Anoka, Eagan (No. 10, Class AA), Hermantown (No. 2, Class A), North St. Paul, Woodbury and Hastings.