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Warriors bring down Golden Gophers

By Matt Oliver

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – The Waldorf College hockey team continued its hot streak, winning its seventh straight game with a 9-4 victory over the University of Minnesota on Friday.

Thirteen players contributed at least one point to power the offensive onslaught for the Warriors (11-6).

“We got contributions from everybody,” Waldorf coach Brett Shelanski said. “All four lines scored as did both power play units. Everybody was going and it’s good to see that depth throughout the lineup.”

Matthew Liggett scored two goals and provided two assists to lead the way for the Warriors, who also received two goals each from Christian Weber and Conor Luck.

Waldorf junior Artem Savelyev, sophomore Travis Park and freshman Ryan Veillet provided two assists apiece.

The only lead of the night for the Golden Gophers came six minutes into the contest as Joe Kavanaugh scored the opening goal off an assist from Alec Wosepka.

Weber connected on the equalizer in the 13th minute of the first period behind assists from freshman Robert Danyo and Park.

Luck notched the go-ahead goal in the following minute, breaking away to give the Warriors a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Sophomore Buddy Napier was credited with the assist.

After building a 2-1 lead in the first period, the Warriors simply took control as they erupted for four second-period goals.

Weber ignited the scoring outburst three minutes into the second period following assists from sophomore Drew Soderberg and Savelyev. The senior forward from Charles City is tied for first on the team with eight goals. Weber also has nine assists and leads Waldorf with 17 points on the season.

Junior Alex Fleming pushed the Warriors to a 4-1 advantage, scoring less than five minutes later while Veillet and Liggett contributed assists.

Liggett added back-to-back goals. The sophomore defenseman from Langley, British Columbia delivered the game-winning goal in the 12th minute of the second period behind assists from Veillet and Savelyev. Liggett converted on a power play less than four minutes later off an assist from senior Jake Taylor and Waldorf closed out the second period with a 6-1 lead.

Sophomore Jeffrey Bartel cashed on a power play, punching in a goal in the second minute of the final period. Park and Fleming assisted on the score.

Luck helped the Warriors claim a seven-goal advantage 54 seconds later as the freshman forward from Cedar Falls scored for the second time of the night following an assist from senior Jacob Bales.

Minnesota responded with three straight goals in a 44-second span to cut the deficit in half.

Joshua Huisken ended the scoring drought for the Golden Gophers with a goal in the fourth minute of the third period with assists from Tanner Tullbane and Brandon Thompson.

Minnesota’s Michael Hughes followed with a goal 28 seconds later. John Dirks provided the assist.

Sixteen seconds passed before Thompson scored the final goal for the Golden Gophers courtesy of an assist from Huisken.

Soderberg tacked on Waldorf’s final goal with less than 13 minutes remaining in the game. Assists were handed out by Weber and Liggett.

Utilizing an aggressive attack from the first drop of the puck, the Warriors outshot Minnesota by a 48-26 margin.

Waldorf sophomore goaltender Ronald Paulson recorded 15 saves while facing 16 shots. Sophomore Bruno Novotny ended the night with seven saves as 10 shots were fired in his direction.

With the win, the Warriors improved to 7-2 at Albert Lea City Arena. They look to continue their strong play on home ice as they close out the weekend series with the Golden Gophers on Saturday at 7 p.m.