Tuesday night's 3-2 overtime loss to Chisago Lakes will be a tough pill to swallow for the Pine City Dragons for many reasons. None reason bigger than the fact that they dominated play against the Wildcats for the majority of the periods and recorded twice as many shots as their opponent and were not able to walk out with a victory.
The Dragon fans were celebrating 40 seasons of Dragon hockey with replica jerseys, pictures from the past, and former players squeezing into their old hockey sweaters. The current Pine City players honored those who came before them and everyone in the barn was given a great game to watch. The Dragons started off strong controlling play and getting on the scoreboard first when Seth Linnell buried an early goal. Linnell has elevated his play as of late scoring four goals in his last two games. The Wildcats would catch a break as a couple Dragon defenders lost their footing in the neutral zone and Karston Edson capitalized on a breakaway tying the game at one goal each before the intermission.
Chisago Lakes went on the power play in the last minute of the first period and popped in a power play goal right away in the second by Ryan Schmidt. The second period was mostly dominated by Pine City who saw many strong chances get erased by Max Wilmer who ended the night with 47 saves and is the main reason his team found victory.
The third period saw much of the same, Pine City getting many chances to bury the game tying goal but not able to get the puck past Wilmer. The Dragons even had a 5-on-3 opportunity that they did not capitalize on. Finally with about five minutes left in the game, Dusty Bergstrom buried a power play shot through traffic from the blue line to tie the game at two a piece.
The game would end up in overtime where a weird bounce gave Chisago Lakes victory and Pine City defeat. The puck took a bad bounce off the zamboni door and ended up right behind Alex Laven. Schmidt finished off the play by tapping the puck in to give the Wildcats the win in overtime.
This is a big win for Chisago Lakes who has found themselves in the bottom half of Section 5A and could make an argument for a higher seed after knocking off the Dragons. Pine City will have to make sure this loss doesn't haunt them by regrouping quickly and winning on Thursday.
The Dragons drop to 14-5 on the season, and travel to Northern Lakes on Thursday. The Wildcats are now 10-8 on the year.
Pine City 1 0 1 0 2
Chisago Lakes 1 1 0 1 3
Linell 1G 0A
Bergstrom 1G 0A
Sell 0G 1A
Laven 25 saves on 28 shots
Johnson 0G 1A
Edson 1G 0A
Schmidt 2G 1A
Roy 0G 1A
Wilmer 47 saves on 49 shots