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Published February 07 2012

Bengals bounce Spuds in boys hockey

MOORHEAD – Quickness is what helped Blaine.

And it led to Moorhead coach Dave Morinville’s abrupt, “Make it quick,” statement before skating his team following the No. 7 Spuds’ loss to No. 12 Blaine in Minnesota Class 2A boys hockey Tuesday at the Moorhead Sports Center.

“We got beat in front of our net and we got beat in front of their net,” Morinville said as his players were leaving the locker room to head back out onto the ice. “We got to get a little tougher in front of the net.”

Morinville made sure his team got a little tougher with some extra ice time, which even prompted a few Blaine players and fans to take notice as they were leaving.

Moorhead (16-5) has been plagued by slow starts in the first period this season, and Blaine (13-8) added to those woes with Joe Awaijane scoring just 30 seconds into the game for a 1-0 lead.

Moorhead bounced back to score two goals from Logan Ness and Tony Uglem to take a 2-1 lead.

Blaine quickly responded, scoring two unanswered goals for a 3-2 lead to end the first.

“We got our (butts) handed to us on Saturday,” said Blaine coach Dave Aus about his team’s 9-1 loss to Duluth East. “We know our team is better than that.”

Embarrassment can certainly serve as a motivating factor.

These two teams would know.

Blaine star defenseman Michael Brodzinski, a Minnesota commit, said his team, despite being young, has a lot of speed. It was a matter of using it to their advantage.

The Bengals used their speed to run the Spuds all over the ice and control the tempo. Moorhead didn’t even get a shot in the second period until there were about nine minutes left.

“We’re really fast. We are really small, but our speed makes up for it,” said Brodzinski, whose brother, Jonny, is a forward for the Fargo Force. “It is a lot of confidence for us, because they’re one of the top teams in the state.”

Blaine added two more goals in the third.

The Bengals players were all smiles after the game.

Yet in the background, the sound of skates grinding onto the ice could be heard for what was going to be the second postgame skate Moorhead has had in the last two seasons.

Surely this wasn’t the memory seniors like goaltender Michael Bitzer wanted on Senior Night.

“Well,” Morinville said with his whistle in hand. “Senior Night is over. I hope they realize that.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1. B, Awaijane (Lau), 16:30. 2. M, Ness (Carey), 12:39. 3. M, T. Uglem (Ness, Leabo), pp., 10:45. 4. B, Vegel (Nowicki), 11:12. 5. B, Simpson (Frischmon), 12:12.

SECOND PERIOD: No scoring.

THIRD PERIOD: 6. B, Cline (Lau), 8:51. 7. B, Awaijane (Norling), 14:10.

SAVES: M, Bitzer 17-8-8 33 saves B, Malvin 10-8-15 33 saves.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

Clark’s Force blog can be found

at slightlychilled.areavoices.com