Yes, Duluth Marshall is a good team, so the Wildcats were pleased with the victory. But tonight is Duluth East. A top 15 team in the state. And with the Wildcats hanging around in the top 20, everyone knew that tonight it would be a good one. From the drop of the puck it was a very fast paced game with solid hitting by both teams. Other than a minor penalty by each team, the first period did not yield any goals. Still scoreless by both teams, Duluth East had eight shots and the Wildcats six.
The puck dropped for the second period and it started just as the first period ended. Fast paced with lots of hitting. The first half of the second period had no scoring and the Wildcats were in the box twice with minor penalties. Then with nine and a half minutes gone by in the second period, Junior Forward and assistant Captain, Jonny Meiers gets one by the East goal tender. Assisted by Junior Center, Cole Gibson and Senior Defenseman, Eli Dolney. But then just four and half minutes later East manages to put one in the back of the net to tie things up at one. No other significant action in the remaining minutes of the second period, except for the fact that East out-shot the Wildcats, sixteen to five.
The third period begins and both teams look a little tense. Both teams committing a couple penalties each but no scoring resulted. Actually there was no scoring in the first half of the third period. Then at the ten minute mark East gets one past the Netminder. Things tensed up and Eagan begins to press hard. And with a couple minutes remaining the Wildcats pull Manzella to the bench for an extra attacker. Just as the clock is winding down, Senior Forward Michael Beneke sneaks one past the East Goalie. Assists going to Dolney and Junior Defenseman and Assistant Captain, Max Meekin. The buzzer sounds ending regulation and things are all tied at two. East out-shoots the Wildcats eleven to nine.
It's overtime!!! At the drop of the puck both teams are flying and adrenaline has taken over. With just thirty seconds gone by in OT the Wildcats are called for a bogus holding minor. But no worries, the Wildcats have been solid on the penalty kill and even creating some chances. Seconds later Jonny Meiers tips one by the East point-man and is off to the races. Jonny gets mugged in front of the net and the goal tender swats the puck aside. East quickly makes a cross ice pass and its off to the races in the other direction. The East Forward makes a nice move and finds the back of the net. East wins in overtime and the final score is Duluth East 3 and the Eagan Wildcats 2. Manzella plays a great game and saves thirty five of thirty eight shots. Next week the Wildcats get back into conference play with games scheduled with Farmington and Lakeville North.