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Warriors’ strong efforts in home opener not enough to secure a win

Waldorf captain Braedan Pearce scored the lone goal in Friday’s game for the Warriors, a 2-1 shootout loss to Lindenwood-Belleville at the Albert Lea Ice Arena in Albert Lea, Minn. Photo by Diana Stetson

By: Diana Stetson

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – A young Waldorf ice hockey team played strong, but visiting Lindenwood-Belleville ended up spoiling the home opener for the Warriors, sweeping a pair of NAIA games on Friday and Saturday at the Albert Lea Ice Arena.

The Lynx won in a shootout, 2-1, on Friday and won Saturday, 6-0, over the Warriors.

“Obviously we wanted two points there, but we battled, we came back; couldn’t find the go-ahead, got some big saves from our goaltender and we were able get the point; a shootout can go either way obviously,” Waldorf head coach Brett Shelanski said of Friday night’s game.

“Tonight we had chances, [but it] didn’t go in for us,” Shelanski said of Saturday night. “We just can’t wait for something bad to happen to us and fall behind before we kind of get going.”

Penalties played a big role in both games as the visitors scored on the power play in the first period on Friday night before the Warriors evened the score in the second period.

Waldorf, too, scored with a Lindenwood-Belleville player in the penalty box as Braedan Pearce tied the game off assists from teammates Sean Mallonee and Sean Teske.

That was all the scoring for the Warriors on the weekend, though, as Lindenwood-Belleville won Friday with two shootout goals to none for Waldorf.

Saturday, the Lynx scored three more power-play goals in their 6-0 win.

Waldorf was whistled for 16 penalties during the weekend series.

“That’s not helping,” Shelanski said Saturday night. “Tonight laziness lead to penalties; we have to move our feet, we have to keep our sticks off of guys, and it is costing us.”

While the outcome on the ice both nights wasn’t what Waldorf wanted, the weekend still provided some highlights for the Warriors as more than 100 fans joined the team on the ice after Saturday’s game for “Skate With The Warriors.”

And for sophomore goalie Ryall Purdy the weekend was also special, not just because he came into Saturday’s game with 12 minutes, 17 seconds left in the second period and finished with 26 saves.

Purdy’s dad, Tim, drove from Houghton, Michigan, just to watch the openers and got to see his son play.

“It was fun to see,” Tim Purdy said. “It was a tough way to start, but that’s the life of a goalie.”

For Ryall, playing in front of his dad was a unique thrill.

“It’s awesome,” Ryall said. “Growing up, he would drop me off at the rink early, he’d get me there two hours early, tie my skates, get me all ready to go. Now I’m a little bit grown—I can tie my own skates and he can sit up in the stands, and afterwards we can go out and have a beer. So that’s a dream come true.”