Boys hockey defeats Benson 5-1

This article submitted by Kurt Habben on 1/13/99.

The River Lakes Stars beat Benson 5-1 Tuesday, Jan. 5, in Richmond.

The game was a big boost for the 2-7 Stars, especially considering Benson is the West Central division leader. The Stars lost to Benson a week earlier 6-4 in the Little Falls Tournament.

Dustin Looman led the offense with a hat trick. He led the third period ďbuzzĒ which produced three goals off 13 shots.

Another Dustin started the scoring for the Stars, though. Dustin Weber, a senior from Rocori, scored off the second rebound from John Thompson, who received an assist on the play. Jeremy Curran also received an assist.

With the Starsí previous experience against Benson, they knew the Braves would try to delay the game as much as possible, due to the fact they only had 11 skaters. Three times during the game, the net was ďaccidentallyĒ knocked over, for instance. The Stars eventually managed to wear Benson down, but not until the third period.

Benson showed they still had energy in the second period by starting with a goal off a rebound. The goal was the only puck John Manthei was not able to stop. Manthei recorded 19 saves on the night, with all but five occurring in the very close first and second periods.

The Starsí were able to reclaim the lead in the second period with Loomanís first goal. Forwards Looman and Curran were able to turn a potentially dangerous situation into a big momentum shift for the game by keeping a Benson power play in Bensonís end of the rink for over a minute. With a pass from Thompson, Curran was able to skate around many defenders and set Looman up for an excellent backhand goal.

The game totally changed in the third period. The Stars were able to keep the puck in Bensonís end for minutes at a time, and Benson couldnít muster a significant offensive attack due to the tough Star back check. Bensonís delay tactics occurred more frequently in the third period, but to no avail.

Looman scored the first two goals of the period, with assists going to Curran and Travis Eveslage on both goals. Brett Theisen added another goal with assists from Eric Habben and Ryan Mackedanz.

The Stars felt much appreciation for the fan support they received. The Stars would especially like to thank the Paynesville pep band, which helped the Stars play their best game of the season by pumping them up.

Stars: 1 1 3 - 5
Benson: 0 1 0 - 1

The Stars next game was Thursday, Jan. 7, in Richmond against another West Central team, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle (LPGE). The Stars suffered a bitter defeat, losing 5-2.

LPGE dominated the game, out- shooting the Stars 46 to 22. The Stars were only able to get off four and six shots, respectively, in the first two periods.

ďWe just werenít executing very well. Our problems were caused by our ineffective breakouts,Ē said Coach Mooney.

The first period was all Thunder. LPGE scored twice, both goals resulting from Stars getting beat individually. For all practical purposes, the Stars had no offense in the period.

The Stars felt lucky the score was only two to zero, but LPGE increased the lead by one in the second period.

With 55 seconds left in the period, the Stars suffered a loss when Eric Habben was pushed face first into the boards. The period was then stopped as EMTs helped bandage him. He received 16 stitches for the cuts after leaving the game.

Midway through the third period, the Stars started to play competitive hockey, but it was too little, too late. For the first time during the game, they were able to produce some offense, scoring two goals in the last seven minutes of the game.

The first goal was scored by Curran. The goal came after Curran and Looman dominated the Thunder during a penalty kill. Looman received an assist on the play.

The second goal came off a power play. Mackedanz fired a shot at point blank range, badly burning the goalie. Looman and Kurt Habben received assists on the play.

The loss dropped the Starsí record to 2-8.

Stars: 0 0 2 - 2
LPGE: 2 1 2 - 5

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