Dateline: Lakeville, MN - Ames Arena: Lots of talk, lots of questions and lots of wondering before the drop of the puck. Lakeville North has been at the top of the South Suburban Conference so far in this young season. The Wildcats knew they had to get up for this one and play three complete periods. As the puck dropped the skating was fast and the hitting was physical. And then at six and half minutes through the first period Michael Beneke, Senior Center gets one past the Panther goal-tender. The assists go to Junior Forward Henry Reiff and Senior Forward Ethan Pearson. Cats up one to zero. Seven minutes later and just before the end of the first period the Panthers thought they were going to the intermission just down by one goal. But Senior Forward William Randall blasts one past the Panther goalie. The assist goes to Senior Defenseman, Eli Dolney.
At the start of the second period the Wildcats have come out buzzin'. Just two minutes go by and Senior Forward and Captain, Nick Sherek scores. Assist goes to Keegan Johnson. Then not even a minute later Senior Forward, William Randall, centers a perfect pass and Junior Center, Cole Gibson strikes with a one-timer. The second assist going to Junior Defenseman and Assistant Captain, Max Meekin. The next two tally's on the game sheet were unfortunately for minor tripping and elbowing penalties by the Wildcats. The score remains four to zero. With eleven minutes gone in the 2nd period, Lakeville North gets a slashing penalty and the Wildcats go on the power-play. With a one man advantage, Junior Forward and Assistant Captain, Jonny Meiers scores with an assist to Junior Defenseman, Aidan Byrne. Cats are up five to zero. Once the teams are back to even strength and not even thirty seconds later another goal by the Wildcats. This goal is credited to Johnson with assists going to Meiers and Randall. The period ends with Eagan killing off a penalty for slashing, which they do successfully. And after two periods the Wildcats have a commanding lead of six to zero.
It's the start of the final period. The Cats are up six to zero. What could go wrong? Well, just forty--eight seconds into the third period the Wildcats are once again in the box after a holding call. Fortunately, they are able to kill off the penalty. Good pressure being applied by both teams but neither goalie willing to yield. Eight minutes later Lakeville North goes to the box after showing a little frustration and getting called for roughing. The Wildcats are unable to score.
The final horn sounds with the Wildcats winning by a score of six to zero. In the net Manzella quite literally stood on his head by stopping all 23 shots and getting the win and the shut-out. The Wildcats dominate the shot count with 33 shots on goal. This game comes at a perfect time as the Cats are now off for Christmas until after the holiday weekend and play their next game in the South St. Paul Tournament next Wednesday against Hopkins at the Woog Arena.