Mona Shores drops an OT heartbreaker in hockey regionals, 3-2 to Forest Hills

By Justin Haggerty

BYRON CENTER – Most teams end up losing in the state tournament.

After all, there can only be one champion in each division.LSJ Logo incert

But the way the Mona Shores hockey team ended its season on Saturday was particularly painful.

The Sailors outshot Forest Hills Northern/Eastern (a team with players from both high schools) 38-24 in the Division 2 regional final matchup, including 4-1 in the sudden death overtime period.

But Forest Hills’ one shot in OT went in, handing the Sailors a 3-2 defeat at Southside Arena in Byron Center.

Mona Shores finished the season 15-12-1.

Even though the final result wasn’t what he wanted, second-year Mona Shores Coach Dan Quaine said he saw growth in his team over the course of the season.

“Coming into this season, we really didn’t know exactly what we had,” Quaine said. “We had a real tough schedule, our record wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but every single one of those players in that locker room worked their butts off and we improved a ton.

“It’s all of them, they put the hard work in, they put the exercise in, my hat’s off to them. It’s a special team that we have here.”

The Sailors will need to replace seven seniors next season, including captain Elijah Wilson and point producers Connor Edlund and Zach Tilden.

“We’ve got a good group coming back, the seniors in this class did a fantastic job leadership-wise,” Quaine said. “They built our program stronger. Now the younger guys have got to come back next year and work that much harder.”

The Sailors struck first in the game with a power play goal.

Sawyer Jensen took a shot from the right faceoff circle that Hawks’ goaltender Ty Kitchen stopped, but Tilden crashed the crease and slammed the puck into the net at 13:49 of the first period.

Forest Hills tied the game later in the period on a power play goal by Chase Lebster, with assists from Josh Boverhof and Ian Famulak.

Mona Shores took a 2-1 lead 6:31 into the second period when Spencer Anderson popped in a rebound.

Forest Hills tied the game less than two minutes later when Nathan Nickelson beat Mona Shores goalie Anthony Shrum on a rebound from a Lebster shot, making the score 2-2 after two periods.

The third period was a scoreless defensive battle with both teams cautious about making a mistake. Mona Shores had a 10-5 shot advantage but nothing went in the goal.

The Sailors dominated the overtime period, holding the puck in the Forest Hills zone for more than three minutes and taking four shots on Kitchen.

The Hawks finally got a shot on goal 4:38 into overtime – a sharp wrister from Wyatt Radakovitz from the top of the right circle – and it hit the mark to end the game.

“I thought we controlled most of the game,” Quaine said. “In overtime, we were all over them. That’s the thing with hockey, it only takes one shot. That’s what they got in overtime and that’s all it took them.

“We had some good chances, the puck just didn’t bounce right for us.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *