Top line dominates in Brainerd win over Fargo DaviesMcLain, Pohlkamp and Rich rack up eight points in victory
Brainerd decided to split up his prolific line of seniors to start Wednesday afternoon’s game. But trailing 3-1 midway through the second period, the coach and former UND hockey great had enough.
By: Brad Elliott Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald
Brainerd decided to split up his prolific line of seniors to start Wednesday afternoon’s game.
But trailing 3-1 midway through the second period, the coaching staff had enough.
Brainerd moved Matt Pohlkamp, Mitch McLain and Aaron Rich back together, Brainerd scored five goals in 4 minutes, 3 seconds and the Warriors went on to a 7-3 victory over Fargo Davies at the Herald Jason Stadstad Hockey Classic.
Pohlkamp scored three goals, Aaron Rich had a goal and two assists and McLain had a goal and an assist to help lift Brainerd to 9-1 overall.
“They started the game with their three studs separated, then they put them together,” Fargo Davies coach Brian Davidson said. “They are the real deal. They will probably be playing college hockey next year. If not, the year after. They were good. We just couldn’t match them. They moved the puck a little too quick for us.”
McLain (34 points) and Pohlkamp (31) are two of the state’s top five scorers.
“We’ve done that the last four games,” assistant coach Jim Ernster said of splitting up the top line. “We’ve had good success at times. At other times, it hasn’t been successful. We know the level of play those top three guys are going to give us. It’s those other guys around them who have to work harder.
“Today, once we put them back together, we got our second line going and our third line going. That energy started with those three and went through the whole team.”
Fargo Davies, which led 2-0 late in the first period, received goals from Jordan Foster, Alec Worwa and Aidan Hartness. The goal by Hartness early in the second put Davies ahead 3-1, but then the Eagles got into penalty trouble and it all unraveled quickly.
Pohlkamp and Cole Smith scored back-to-back power-play goals. McLain and Rich then added four-on-four goals. And Alex Mimmack’s blast from the point capped the five-goal surge for the Warriors.
Brainerd will next take on undefeated Grand Forks Red River.
“There’s no shortage of good teams that you can face as you go through a season to prepare for the playoffs,” Ernster said. “That’s what we’d love to see. We’d love to see another high-quality team. Seeing teams that don’t push you and don’t test you doesn’t help. Fargo Davies gave us a stout test today. Our guys responded.”
Davidson also was happy with the competition: “We want a tougher schedule all around because those teams will make you better. If you want to compete with the Red Rivers of the world, you’ve got to play good teams.”
Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.