Forest Lake remains undefeated after a close matchup against Mounds View. The Rangers were able to come away with a 3-2 win over the Mustangs after a hard-fought battle. Both teams battled it out all game long with the last two goals of the contest being scored during the final 2 minutes. When it comes down to it, Forest Lake was more physical and better conditioned than Mounds View which helped them secure the victory.
#1: Forest Lake’s Goaltender #41: Josie Bothun was in net for the Rangers for her first game of the season and she had an outstanding performance. She was not afraid to make a few diving saves during the game which helped keep the scoring to a minimum. Josie exhibits great vision and can easily track the puck in traffic, her strength comes in the form of her quick glove. The Mustangs had a difficult time putting one past her as she can consume the puck and make herself big although she is only 5’5”. Josie put up an impressive performance against Mounds View and should make a big impact this season for the Rangers.
#2: Mounds View’s Monster Defender #27: Cale Goenner, while not the largest player on the team, he plays like he is the biggest man on the ice. His stickhandling, as well as a hard slap shot, help Cale stands out as the Mustang’s best defender. He seized every opportunity he had to make a big play, whether that was skating the puck up, ripping off a slap shot from the blueline, or making a key pass. Cale is not a passive player he attacks the puck and works the body well, which made it difficult for the Rangers to get around him. The Mustangs can rely on Cale to keep the defense locked down all season long.
#3: Low Shots on Goal for Both Teams: There was a combined shot count of 42 for this contest, Forest Lake outshot Mounds View 24 to 18. This can be chalked up to a strong defensive presence for both teams as well as a decent amount of time spent in the neutral zone. Defenders such as #27 Cale Goenner from Mounds View and #2 Austin LaCasse from Forest Lake helped their teams regain control of the puck all game long. Austin LaCasse utilized his ice awareness and passing ability to set his forwards up well. Goalies from both teams can thank their defensemen for keeping the shot count to a minimum. With athletes on both sides, this game could have been a high scoring one for sure.
#4: Forest Lake’s Physical Attributes: The Rangers were the more physical team and it showed when multiple players exhibited excellent body control. Junior Forward #12, Hunter Johnson made some smart checks along the boards and in the corners. Senior Forward #7, Connor Blanchard also played the body well and was able to take the puck away from the Mustangs multiple times. Not only was Forest Lake more physical, but they were also better conditioned as well. This started to show in the third period when the Rangers were outskating and outpacing the Mustangs with ease. Forest Lakes players were able to take longer shifts and keep consistent pressure on Mounds View all game long which helped them win the contest.
#5: Great Match-Up: The Rangers and Mustangs went toe to toe Saturday night and both teams brought energy and exhibited good teamwork. This was a fun game to watch as it was back and forth for all three periods. Each team has its fair share of athletes and well-rounded hockey players. They both exhibited trust in one another and you could see the chemistry amongst linemates. It couldn’t have been a better early-season battle than what the Rangers and Mustangs put out up Saturday night. When these teams face off again on January 18th expect it to be another shootout.