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Storm boys split pair of conference games

The Morris Benson Area boys' hockey team split a pair of Southwest Conference games Friday and Saturday, topping Sleepy Eye 7-1 at the Benson Civic Center and then travelling to Luverne and being defeated 3-1. The Storm is still in second place in the conference with a 6-2 record, trailing Redwood Valley at 8-1.

Morris Benson 7

Sleepy Eye 1

The Storm got off to a great start Friday night and never looked back on their way to the 7-1 victory.

Kelly Engquist got a goal on the first shift of the game, assisted by Ethan Ratliff-Crain. Mac Beyer added a second goal midway through the period assisted by Tanner Picht and Tyler Hansen. Then Picht scored on a power-play with assists from Beyer and Engquist to give the Storm a 3-0 lead after one period.

Alex Sinclair got the start between the pipes for the Storm and stopped both shots that he faced in the period while the Sleepy Eye goalie, Kyle Jones, made nine saves.

Sleepy Eye came out fired up in the second period, getting several early shots before they finally got a puck past goalie Matt Huot seven minutes into the period to draw to within 3-1. The Storm answered shortly after when Hansen scored assisted by Tanner Kirkeide, and then Beyer added another power-play goal assisted by Picht and Hansen for a 5-1 Storm advantage after two.

Huot and Jones each made six saves in the second period.

The Storm tacked on two more goals in the final period with Hansen scoring assisted by Thomas Horecka and Ratliff-Crain adding another power-play goal with assists from Engquist and Jake Manska. Andrew Fath played in goal in the final period and stopped the only shot that he saw while Jones made eight more saves.

Luverne 3

Morris Benson 1

On Saturday the Storm never really could get anything going offensively as they lost to Luverne 3-1 in a closely played defensive game. Storm defensemen Manska, Horecka, Tristan Michaelson, Jake Huston and Isaac Berens played strong in front of goalie Sinclair the entire game, but the Cardinals managed three goals for the win.

In the first period, the Storm outshot the Cardinals 11-8, but Sinclair and Luverne's goalie Nathan Thompson were both sharp as the game remained scoreless at the break.

Luverne netted the first goal of the game on a power play 2:45 into the second period, but Picht soon tied the score with assists from Hansen and Andrew Rentz. The Cardinals regained the lead with another goal with just under three minutes remaining and took a 2-1 lead into the final period. Each goalie came up with eight saves in the period.

The third was just as closely played with each team getting some fine scoring chances before Luverne added a big insurance goal, again on a power play, with 3:24 remaining. Sinclair made nine saves in the third while Thompson made five.