River Lakes boys take 6th place at holiday tourney

This article submitted by Kurt Habben on 1/5/99.

The River Lakes Stars competed in the Little Falls Holiday Tournament Dec. 28-30.

The Stars took sixth place by losing two very close games and winning against a talented Little Falls junior varsity team.

The Starsí first opponent was the West Central division leader, Benson. Both teams were familiar with each other and were looking for a decisive win.

The Starsí lines were shifted for the tournament in order to mix things up. It seemed to work for the first period, which ended tied two to two.

After two defensive let downs which led to the Benson goals, Dustin Looman scored all by himself on a power play.

Eric Habben then tied the game by powering a rebound past the goalie. Brett Theisen received an assist for the goal.

Benson came out very fired up for the second period. When the period was over, the Stars were down five to three.

The Starsí lone goal for the period came from Jeremy Curran, who scored on a power play with a pass from Looman.

The Stars cut Bensonís lead to one just one minute into the third period. Ryan Mackedanz scored with assists from Theisen and Habben.

Benson then scored with less than five minutes left to lock up the victory.

The Starsí head coach, Kevin Mooney, felt strongly the Stars should have won the game.

ďI really believe we outplayed them. If we would have had less trouble with penalties, we easily could have won,Ē said Mooney.

The Stars committed seven penalties for 17 minutes, while Benson only commited two for four minutes.

Stars: 2 1 1 - 4
Benson: 2 3 1 - 6

Scrimmage
The Starsí next game was a scrimmage against the Little Fallsí junior varsity team because a varsity team backed out of the tournament at the last second.

While the game was an automatic win, it was played very close. The Stars ended up picking up the win in OT. It should be noted that the junior varsity team had many varsity players to help the game be more competitive.

Moose Lake
The Stars were then set to challenge Moose Lake for the consolation championship Unfortunately, they lost a close one 4-3 and took sixth place.
Moose Lake had crushed Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, a local team which the Stars play twice this season.

Moose Lake did the majority of their offensive damage in the first period. They were able to take advantage of many defensive mistakes in order to score three goals in the period.

Eric Habben scored the only goal for the Stars in the period, using his crash the net style to produce another goal off another rebound.

Senior goalie John Manthei gave a very inspiring speech during the intermission and the Stars responded well in the second period.

The Stars were able to dominate the period, keeping the puck in the Moose Lake end for the majority of play.

Ryan Mackedanz cut the lead to one by scoring with a very fast slapshot.

With the score three to two in favor of Moose Lake, the Stars knew they needed some offense. Captain Dustin Looman answered the scoring call with just under five minutes to play by scoring off a back hand shot.

In the final minutes of the third period, both teams proceeded to stack their lines. Play was very interesting with back and forth rushes up the ice.

The game went to OT, but it ended in Moose Lakesí favor just three minutes in. The goal was scored after a defenseman made a costly mistake. The Moose Lake player was able to shoot three times on Manthei before he scored.

Stars: 1 1 1 0 - 3
Moose Lake: 3 0 0 1 - 4

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