Cardinal boys' hockey: Apollo skates past Alexandria
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
The Alexandria boys’ hockey team is still searching for a way to break out of a funk where the Cardinals have now lost six of their last seven games after a 3-1 loss to St. Cloud Apollo on Tuesday night.
Alexandria (9-11-1, 6-5-1 CLC) didn’t give itself much of a chance against the Eagles (12-9, 7-3 CLC) after falling behind 3-0 after the first period. Jared Christen made it 1-0 less than three minutes in before Paul Kenney added two more goals to give his team a commanding lead.
“We didn’t start well and gave up goals because of poor team defense,” Alexandria head coach Scott Woods said. “That is usually a strength of ours.”
Apollo went on to outshoot Alexandria 32-20. The Eagles were the aggressors in the third period, outshooting the Cardinals 13-5 as they held onto a two-goal lead down the stretch. Alexandria’s only goal came off the stick of Tom Schmidt off an assist from Jack Wensman.
Ben Allen had 29 saves on the night. Apollo’s Nick Althaus got the win with 19 saves.
Alexandria had four games left after Tuesday night to get things going as the Cardinals prepare for the playoffs. Three of those are at home. Sauk Rapids-Rice was in town last night, Thursday, before Fergus Falls comes to the Runestone Community Center next Tuesday.
The Cardinals have been in almost every game during this recent skid. Five of the six losses have come by a combined total of six goals. The only game that got out of hand was a 6-0 loss to Little Falls on January 22. There has been a fine line between winning and losing. Alexandria hopes to turn that around as it enters the tournament in a few weeks.
“We will need to be sure we play great defensively in the playoffs to succeed,” Woods said. “Hopefully we will find some ways to get pucks in the net. We will need to score goals by being strong around the net and capitalizing on rebound chances.”
ALEXANDRIA 0 1 0 – 1
APOLLO 3 0 0 – 3
SHOTS – Alexandria – 7, 8, 5 – 20; Apollo – 9, 10, 13 – 32
FIRST PERIOD – Apollo – Christen (Kenney, Jason Omann), 2:37; Apollo – Kenney (Christen, Brandon Bloch), 3:06; Apollo – Kenney (Christen, Omann), 10:44
SECOND PERIOD – Alexandria – Schmidt (Wensman), 2:34
THIRD PERIOD – No scoring
GOALTENDING – Alexandria – Ben Allen – L, 29 saves, 32 shots; Apollo – Althaus – W, 19 saves, 20 shots