Stadstad Hockey Classic: Apple Valley captures title (Dec. 19, 2009)Make it a clean sweep of Greater Grand Forks. After knocking off East Grand Forks Senior High and Grand Forks Central in the previous two days, Apple Valley completed the local trifecta by beating Grand Forks Red River 4-1 in the championship game of the Grand Forks Herald Jason Stadstad Hockey Classic on Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
By: Tom Miller, Grand Forks Herald
Make it a clean sweep of Greater Grand Forks.
After knocking off East Grand Forks Senior High and Grand Forks Central in the previous two days, Apple Valley completed the local trifecta by beating Grand Forks Red River 4-1 in the championship game of the Grand Forks Herald Jason Stadstad Hockey Classic on Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Apple Valley coach Jerry Hayes said it’s a great way to head to the holiday break for the Eagles, who entered the tournament on a three-game losing streak.
“We talked before the game how this is kind of like how UND has historically started slow and then picked things up after Christmas,” Hayes said. “We knew we were going to have growing pains early.
“We just want to be better today than we were yesterday. I think this tournament demonstrated that, and hopefully we can take a good deal of momentum with us.”
The Roughriders, who suffered their first defeat of the season, certainly made the Eagles earn the championship victory.
Red River forward Cody Jennewein scored at 9 minutes, 8 seconds of the third period to cut Apple Valley’s lead to 2-1.
But the speedy, skilled Eagles answered back. Less than three minutes after Jennewein’s goal, Apple Valley’s Jordan Ocel scored when he was hit in stride on a perfectly executed 2-on-1 break by teammate Alex Trenary.
The Eagles tacked on an empty-net goal by Chris Fischer to seal the win.
Ocel’s backhand goal was one of many odd-man rushes for Apple Valley.
“We told our guys to try to limit the 2-on-1’s,” Red River coach Bill Chase said. “Sometimes we pinched at the wrong times. They’re young guys, though. They’ve heard it from (coaches); now they need to read it for themselves. If we can eliminate some of those mistakes, it’s going to keep the game close and give us a chance.
“I never like losing, but I was happy with our effort.”
Red River goalie Mitchell Byrne, who had a shutout in the tournament semifinals on Friday against Grafton-Park River, finished with 24 saves, including 12 in the opening period.
Apple Valley goalie Aaron Gretz made 19 stops.
“I thought both goaltenders were outstanding,” Hayes said. “They kept this from being an 8-7 shootout. Both teams had some good chances.”
The Eagles also received a pair of goals from Kris Goodman. After a scoreless first period, Goodman scored at 10:03 of the second period and again at 5:33 of the third period.
“Goodman was a physical force all weekend,” Hayes said. “He has a high motor. He’s been a lunch-pail guy for us. It’s nice to see a guy who does a lot of the dirty jobs get some points.”