Facing Roseville for the third time already this season, the Stillwater boys’ hockey team prevailed in overtime to take the upper hand on Tuesday with a 2-1 Suburban East Conference victory at the St. Croix Valley Rec Center.
The Ponies (7-3 SEC, 9-6), who remain three points behind conference front-runners Cretin-Derham Hall (8-0-1, 11-2-1) and White Bear Lake (8-1-1, 10-3-1), blanked Roseville 4-0 earlier this season before falling to the Raiders 4-3 in the semifinals of the Schwan Cup holiday tournament.
“We’ll probably end up playing them in sections, too,” Ponies coach Matt Doman quipped. “They’re a very well coached team and they work hard. I did think we dominated most of the game, but really it was a playoff-style hockey game and both teams had good chances,” Doman said.
John Heddle has collected at least one point in 11 of 15 games for the Ponies this season and Tuesday’s game-winner on an assist by Devin Cates was certainly one of the biggest. Heddle beat a defenseman to the outside on the way to the net before scoring his team-leading 13th goal of the season.
“Heddle just stepped on the ice and Cates had been out there a long time so we were just going to dump the puck in, but Heddle came off screaming for the puck and he gave it to him at the blue line and he made a great individual effort,” Doman said.
Following a scoreless opening period, Jack Manning struck for the Ponies at 6:08 of the second on assists by Brandon Jungmann and Cates.
Stillwater, which held a 36-22 advantage in shots on goal, gave up the tying goal to Chase Garvin with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
“They had a good push towards the end there and got the puck in the net,” Doman said. “It was a good gut check for our guys to be able to respond to that and get the win.”
Stillwater improved to 2-1 in overtime games this season, compared to 0-3-2 for the Raiders in five overtime contests.
Josh Benson finished with 21 saves for the Ponies, including two in overtime.
“I thought we did a better job, starting with our goaltender moving out,” Doman said. “We’ve challenged our goalies to be more consistent and made one or two big saves. Josh played consistent and also had a great glove save in overtime. He kept us in there and the rest of the team did their job as well.”
Roseville 0 0 1 0 — 1
Stillwater 0 1 0 1 — 2
First period — No scoring.
Second period — 1. St, Jack Manning (Brandon Jungmann, Devin Cates) 6:08.
Third period — 1. Ros, Chase Garvin (Andrew Colvard, Riley McCann) 15:06.
Overtime — 2. St, John Heddle (D. Cates, Peyton Gosso) 5:31.
Penalties — Ros, 1-2:00; St, 1-2:00.
Saves — Ros (Quinn Huff) 7-15-10-2—34; St (Josh Benson) 7-4-8-2—21.