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Paynesville Press - February 9, 2005

Stars score late goals to beat Morris/Benson

By Michael Jacobson

The River Lakes Stars boys' hockey team scored three goals in the last four minutes to rally for a 4-2 victory over Morris/Benson on Tuesday, Feb. 1, at the Koronis Civic Arena in Paynesville.

Trailing 2-1 thru two periods, the Stars outshot Morris/Benson 17 to 7 in the final period, notching the tying goal with just over four minutes to play. Sophomore Alex Naujokas scored the tying goal on a rebound during a flurry in front of the net.

Fighting for puck Two minutes later, senior Andy Schramel knocked in a rebound of junior defenseman Zach Johnson's slap shot from the point during a power play to give the Stars a 3-2 lead.

Johnson added an empty-net goal to seal the win with 40 seconds to go. He picked up a loose puck in the Stars' zone and skated ahead of the field of skaters to score after Morris/Benson pulled their goalie for an extra skater to try for a tying goal.

Senior Andy Schramel (3) knocked in this rebound while fighting in front of the Morris/Benson net with sophomore Alex Naujokas as the Dogs scored three goals in the last five minutes and won 4-2.

The line of Naujokas, junior center Jamie Paul, and Schramel, along with senior Kevin Braun and Johnson on defense, were on the ice for all three of the Stars' goals in the third period.

Senior Ryan Weber scored the Stars' first goal midway through the first period on a power play.

The Stars held that lead for 20 minutes until Morris/Benson scored two goals in the last five minutes of the second period. Morris/Benson got their first goal on a wrist shot and their second on a breakaway in the last minute of the second period.

Morris/Benson had another breakaway chance with five minutes to go in the game, but senior goalie Jake Engquist made the save to keep the score 2-1. The Stars scored the tying goal less than a minute later.

For the game, the Stars outshot Morris/Benson 35-30, with Engquist making 28 saves for the Stars.

This week, the Stars (7-12-2) played at Sartell on Tuesday. They will play their last regular season game on Thursday at Alexandria.

Next week, the Stars start section playoffs on Tuesday, Feb. 15. Sections seedings were not available at press time.

Morris/Benson--0 2 0 - 2
River Lakes--1 0 3 - 4

Scoring Summary
First Period: RL-Ryan Weber (Nick Dahlen), 9:04 (pp);
Second Period: M/B-Ryan McNally (Patrick Murphy), 4:48; M/B-Josh Griffith (Jay Andrews), 0:56;
Third Period: RL-Alex Naujokas (Andy Schramel, Jamie Paul), 4:12; RL- Schramel (Zach Johnson), 2:11 (pp); RL-Johnson (Paul, Naujokas), 0:41 (en).

St. Cloud Tech 3, Stars 1
St. Cloud Tech clinched the Central Lakes Conference title with a 3-1 victory over the Stars on Thursday at the Municipal Athletic Complex in St. Cloud.

The Tigers finished 12-1 in the Central Lakes Conference, while the Stars, who only play each conference opponent one time, not two, are 0-6-1 in conference play and 7-6-1 in nonconference games.

Thursday's game was another close loss for the Stars in Central Lakes action. They also lost 4-3 to St. Cloud Apollo and 2-0 to Brainerd in January. The Stars' lone tie in conference action was 4-4 with Sauk Rapids/Rice in January.

St. Cloud Tech scored two goals seconds apart in the first period to take a 2-0 lead against the Stars.

Sophomore Alex Naujokas scored for the Stars with five minutes to go in the second period to cut the deficit to 2-1, but the Tigers got a power-play goal five minutes into the third period to make the final 3-1.

Senior goalie Jake Engquist made 41 saves for the Stars, who were outshot 44-21 by Tech.

River Lakes--0 1 0 - 1
St. Cloud Tech--2 0 1 - 3

Scoring Summary
First Period: SCT-Andy Zenken (Alex Lane, Rhett Reiter), 12:57; SCT-Kelly Meemken (Grady Sloan), 12:53;
Second Period: RL-Alex Naujokas (Andy Schramel), 5:36;
Third Period: SCT-Nick Wenck (David Hines, Chris Koenig), 12:04 (pp).

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