OAK PARK HEIGHTS — After dishing out assists on each of Stillwater’s first three goals, Jake Cass scored one himself in the third period as part of a four-point night while leading the Stillwater boys’ hockey team to a 4-1 Suburban East Conference victory over Roseville on Saturday at the St. Croix Valley Rec Center.
The Ponies (2-2-1 SEC, 2-2-1), who are unbeaten in their last three games after starting the season with consecutive losses, outshot the Raiders 17-7 while scoring three times in the second period to take charge.
“I thought they played a three-period game,” said Ponies coach Pete Hamilton, who along with Matt Doman are handling the head coaching duties with Phil Housley slated to miss the next few weeks while serving as head coach for the United States team at the World Junior Championships in Russia. “It was the little things we did. We got shots through and got shots on net, had a good forecheck and guys coming back and communicating. We were picking up guys and we moved the puck quickly. We put it in their end and made them react instead of the other way around.”
Brandon Jungmann scored on the power play five minutes into the second period on assists by Devin Cates and Cass to give the Ponies a 1-0 lead. Tyler Fitzsimmons tacked on another goal at 10:20.
The Raiders (2-1-2, 2-3-2) answered with a power play goal by Pearcy Marks at 13:20 to pull within 2-1, but Zach Fedie scored on the next shift for Stillwater to regain a two-goal margin.
Cass then scored a goal two minutes into the third period to close out the scoring for the Ponies, who have allowed just one goal in each of their last three games.
“It was a great goal and Jake had a great game offensively, but in the first five games this was also his best game defensively,” Hamilton said. “We talk about how they go hand in hand and it was true for our team and him (on Saturday). That’s the most important piece, that we win as a team.”
Colton Anderson turned away 27 shots in goal for the Ponies, including 12 in the third period to keep Roseville in check.
“He was sharp when he had to be,” Hamilton said. “He made a few key saves and was just solid for us. We need good goaltending and that’s what we got. I was very proud of them all, 20 guys just played well.”
The key going forward as the Ponies hope to improve their standing in the conference after a sluggish start to the season will be continued improvement and consistency.
“We just played really well and that’s going to be our goal now because that’s what we thought we had coming into the season,” Hamilton said. “Our goal is to find a way to be consistent. Every high school’s (modus operandi) is they can do it one night, it’s can they do it day in an day out.”
Roseville 0 1 0 — 1
Stillwater 0 3 1 — 4
First period — No scoring.
Second period — 1. St, Brandon Jungmann (Devin Cates, Jake Cass) pp, 5:05; 2. St, Tyler Fitzsimmons (Cass, Blake Kohanek) 10:20; 1. Ros, Pearcy Marks (Robb Stautz, Andrew Colvard) pp, 13:20; 3. St, Zach Fedie (Cass) NA.
Third period — 4. St, Cass (Aaron Kasinak, Peyton Gosso) 2:31.
Penalties — Ros, 5-10:00; St, 6-12:00.
Saves — Ros (Zach Larson) 7-14-4—23 and (Ryan Hoag) x-x-2—2; St (Colton Anderson) 9-6-12—27.