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|Paynesville Press - January 4, 2006|
Stars win home holiday hockey tourney
The River Lakes Stars boys' hockey team swept three games at their home holiday tournament last week, claiming the championship of the four-team round-robin tourney and improving their season record to 4-8.|
The Stars dominated Redwood Valley 7-0 on Tuesday, scored a late goal to beat Prairie Centre 4-3 on Wednesday, and jumped to a 5-0 lead to beat Willmar 5-1 in the title game on Thursday. The Stars claimed the title of the River Lakes Holiday Invitational by going 3-0, Willmar finished 2-1, Prairie Centre went 1-2, and Redwood Valley ended 0-3.
In Thursday's championship game, the Stars scored three power-play goals in the first period and two short-handed goals in the second period to build a 5-0 lead against Willmar. Junior wing Alex Naujokas scored twice on the power play in the first period, and he added three assists, having a hand in all five River Lakes goals.
Senior wing Kurt Peterson (second from left) received congratulations from teammates after his rebound goal with 90 seconds to play propelled the Stars to a 4-3 victory over Prairie Centre on Wednesday, Dec. 28. Congratulating him, from left, are Alex Naujokas, Jamie Paul, Blake Williamson, and Zach Johnson.
Senior wing Luke Harren also scored on the power play in the first period for the Stars.
Junior center Josh Engquist scored on the penalty kill two minutes into the second period, and senior center Jamie Paul scored another short-handed goal with four minutes to play in the period.
Willmar scored their only goal seconds into the third period. The Cardinals outshot the Stars 40-26, but senior goalie Eric Prowker made 39 saves for the Stars in net.
Naujokas led the team with five points against Willmar. Senior defenseman Zach Johnson had four points (four assists), and Paul had three points (a goal and two assists) for the Stars.
For the tournament, Johnson and Naujokas led the Stars with 10 points each. Naujokas led the Stars with five goals (and also had five assists), and Johnson led the Stars with nine assists (and also scored one goal). Paul was next with eight points (three goals and five assists). Engquist also scored three goals for the Stars, and Harren added two.
Through 12 games, Naujokas leads the Stars with 17 points (seven goals and 10 assists); Johnson is next with 16 points (six goals and ten assists). Other point getters are: Harren (7-4-11); Paul (3-6-9); Engquist (6-2-8); senior wing Kurt Peterson (3-3-6); junior wing Max Lahr (2-2-4); junior defenseman Blake Williamson (0-4-4); freshman wing Adam Porwoll (2-0-2); junior defenseman Zach Dingmann (0-2-2); and junior wing Eric Wenner (1-0-1).
This week, the Stars played Brainerd at the River Lakes Arena in Richmond on Tuesday. They will play St. Cloud Tech on Thursday at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, and they will play at Bemidji on Saturday. Next week, the Stars will host Little Falls on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at the Koronis Civic Arena in Paynesville.
Thursday, Dec. 29
Second Period: RL-Josh Engquist (Naujokas), 15:10 (sh); RL-Paul (Johnson, Naujokas), 4:20 (sh);
Third Period: W-Josh Aslesen (Griffin Leitch), 16:47 (pp).
Stars 4, Prairie Centre 3
Senior center Jamie Paul won a faceoff in the Prairie Centre zone with the puck going back to senior defenseman Zach Johnson at the point. Johnson launched a shot on goal, and Peterson knocked home the rebound for the winning goal.
The Stars' second victory in the round-robin tournament set up their final game against Willmar, also unbeaten in the first two games.
The Stars beat Prairie Centre - a combined team from LPGE and Sauk Centre - by an identical score, in overtime, in Sauk Centre for their season opener in November.
This time, the Stars built a 3-0 lead before withstanding a Prairie Centre comeback.
Junior center Josh Engquist and Johnson scored early in the first period as the Stars took a quick 2-0 lead. Junior wing Alex Naujokas deflected Johnson's shot past the Prairie Centre goalie early in the second period for a 3-0 lead.
The Stars, who outshot Prairie Centre 56-17, were cruising until Prairie Centre scored two goals in a minute span at the end of the second period. They scored an even strength goal with three and a half minutes to play in the second period and then scored a minute later nine seconds into a power play.
Prairie Centre scored the tying goal ten minutes into the third period, with seven minutes to play.
The Stars hit the post twice in the final period but did not score until a key power play with just under three minutes to play. Paul, skating into the Prairie Centre zone, was tripped, drawing a two-minute penalty with 2:49 to play, resulting in the game-winning power play.
The Stars played defensively for 90 seconds after scoring the go-ahead goal, and Prairie Centre did not have any good scoring chances.
Wednesday, Dec. 28
Second Period: RL-Alex Naujokas (Jamie Paul, Johnson), 13:28; PC-Jack Baartman (Calvin Deters), 3:31; PC-Derek Rachey (Tyler Graves), 2:31 (pp);
Third Period: PC-Graves, 6:53; RL-Kurt Peterson (Paul, Johnson), 1:38 (pp).
Stars 7, Redwood Valley 0
After a scoreless first period, the Stars scored three goals in just over 30 seconds midway through the second period. Senior center Jamie Paul, junior wing Alex Naujokas, and junior wing Josh Engquist scored back-to-back-to-back goals to put the Stars ahead 3-0.
Paul scored again on a power play in the last minute of the second period to make the score 4-0.
The Stars scored another three goals in the third period with senior wing Luke Harren, junior wing Max Lahr, and Naujokas scoring.
Naujokas led the Stars with four points in the game (two goals and two assists); Paul (two goals and an assist) and Harren (one goal and two assists) were next with three points apiece for the Stars.
Senior goalie Eric Prowker made 15 saves to record a shutout for the Stars, who outshot Redwood Valley 74-15.
Tuesday, Dec. 27
Second Period: RL-James Paul (Alex Naujokas), 6:37; RL-Naujokas (Paul, Luke Harren), 6:24; RL-Josh Engquist (Zach Johnson), 6:06; RL-Paul (Harren, Johnson), 0:38 (pp);
Third Period: RL-Harren (Johnson, Naujokas), 14:05; RL-Max Lahr (Engquist, Kurt Peterson), 10:34; RL-Naujokas (Blake Williamson), 5:45.
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