HIBBING — For two periods, the Hibbing/Chisholm High School boys hockey team outworked and out-performed Greenway.
All it took was two mental mistakes and a bad start as the Bluejackets fell to Greenway 4-3 in overtime in an Iron Range Conference contest Friday at the Hibbing Memorial Arena.
The Raiders’ Ezra Carlson scored just eight seconds into overtime to send Hibbing/Chisholm back to its locker room in stunned silence.
“You have games like this, and you have to rebound and play,” Hibbing/Chisholm coach Eric Rewertz said. “You have to start games better. You can’t take a period off, then decide that you want to play the game.
“We’ve had a lot of games this year where we’ve taken a period off. When you start a game, you have to be ready.”
Rewertz is referring to the Bluejackets’ start in the first period.
Carter Cline redirected a Coleman Groshong shot past Hibbing/Chisholm goalie Brayden Boyer at 5:40, then Aidan Rajala snuck one between the post and Boyer at 7:18 to make it 2-0.
“I don’t think we were ready when the puck dropped,” Rewertz said. “I thought they out-worked us. Our M.O. has to be we’re going to work hard. Tip
your hat and give it to them. They came out hard and out-worked us.
“That was the difference in the first period. They wanted loose pucks more than we did.”
Trailing by two, the Bluejackets had to regroup between periods. What was the major point of emphasis?
“We decided that we were going to play the game the way we can,” Rewertz said. “We know that we need to work hard. We came out in the second, and I thought we worked hard.”
Whatever was said worked as Drew Kubena came down the left side of the ice and wristed a shot past Greenway goaltender Nathan Jurgansen just 33 seconds into the period to make it 2-1.
“That was a big goal,” Rewertz said. “It was early in the period, and it gave us some life. We started the period strong, but anytime you can get a goal and get back into it… The kids responded.
“I thought we played with a lot more energy after that goal.”
The Bluejackets went on the power play at 5:47, and just 18 seconds later (at 6:05), Kasey Kemp scored to tie it 2-2.
Five minutes later, Kemp tallied his second goal of the game to give Hibbing/Chisholm a 3-2 lead.
The only problem was the Bluejackets had plenty of other opportunities to score, but they couldn’t capitalize on them.
“We were getting too low. We’re crashing down too far,” Rewertz said. “The rebounds were coming up high, and they were hitting us up in the body instead of us being able to jump on the puck and attack it.
“We were trying to knock a puck down, then trying to get a stick on it. When we attack, we have to have our third person high and coming down the slot ready for those rebounds.”
Hibbing/Chisholm kept the Raiders scrambling in the third period, but the Bluejackets couldn’t find a way to beat Jurgansen.
That’s when mistake No. 1 happened.
Aden Springer forced a turnover behind the Bluejackets’ net.
He skated out to the side of the net and from a bad angle, he backhanded a shot past Boyer at 13:10 to tie it 3-3.
Mistake No. 2 happened right after the faceoff in overtime.
Hibbing/Chisholm over-skated the puck, which allowed Carlson to pick up the loose puck.
He skated down the left side into the circle and snapped a shot that went bar down to give Greenway the win.
It was a stinging loss for the Bluejackets, but it could have been avoided with a better start.
“If we start that game and you don’t dig yourself a 2-0 hole, that third period is a whole-different story,” Rewertz said. “I liked the way we finished the game. This is a good opportunity to learn from it, grow, and hopefully, we learned our lesson as a team.”
Jurgansen finished with 34 saves.
Boyer had 13 stops.
GHS 2 0 1 1 — 4
HC 0 3 0 0 — 3
First Period — 1. G, Carter Cline (Coleman Groshong, Darric Davidson), 5:40; 2. G, Aidan Rajala (Ty Donahue), 7:18.
Second Period — 3. HC, Drew Kubena (Joe Allison), :33; 4. HC, Kasey Kemp (Conner Willard, Allison), pp, 6:05; 5. HC, Kemp (Michael Andrican), 11:05.
Third Period — 6. G, Aden Springer, 13:10.
Overtime — 7. G, Ezra Carlson, :08.
Goalie Saves — Greenway Nathan Jurgansen 9-12-13-0—34; Hibbing/Chisholm, Brayden Boyer 4-8-1-0—13.
Penalties — Greenway 4-8; Hibbing/Chisholm 3-6.