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Delano upends East Grand Forks in the opener for the Green Wave

Will Brown scores a hat trick in the Tigers' 4-2 win over the Wave

112821 S GFH EGFBHKY ElijahKolstoe BruceHalonen01.jpg
Green Wave goaltender Elijah Kolstoe deflects a Delano shot as Tigers forward Bruce Halonen (26) looks on in the second period of a matinee boys hockey game at the East Grand Forks Civic Center on Saturday, November 27, 2021. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

With sights set on a return to the Minnesota state tournament this year, East Grand Forks Senior High started its season with a tight game in a 4-2 loss to Delano on Saturday at the Civic Center.

A new year for any program means turnover within the roster as seniors graduate or others move on to higher leagues, but this year’s transition for East Grand Forks is a heavy one. Five of its six leading scorers from last season have moved on, including Landon Parker, Trey Ausmus, Brody Schultz, Tanner Lubinski and Logan Spencer.

That accounts for 156 of the 272 points spread throughout the 2020-21 roster, more than half of its scoring.

“There’s no added pressure than normal. The expectations are always going to be high and we feel we can get to that level with this group,” East Grand Forks coach Tyler Palmiscno said.

A fast paced first period set the tone for this year’s group as it looked to get a feel for the ice and the chemistry with each other.

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Two power plays got the offensive momentum started for the Green Wave, but a costly turnover at the blue line resulted in a break the other way for Delano. Will Brown deposited the shorthanded breakaway to open the scoring.

Unfazed, however, the power play would connect less than a minute later when EGF's Justin Overgaard let a point shot go that found its way over the shoulder of Drew Dorsey to tie the game 1-1.

“It was a good response,” said Palmiscno. “We’ve got new guys working in new spots so they are getting the opportunity to grow.”

The second period told a similar tale. EGF created a dangerous scoring chance with Jaksen Panzer, but his shot went wide. Shortly after, the play worked its way to the Green Wave end and a high bouncing puck went over everyone’s head and outstretched hands and ended up in the back of Elijah Kolstoe’s net.

It took a little longer than the first period, but the Green Wave were able to answer before the period’s end. Despite numerous odd-man rushes and scoring chances, the bounces were not going EGF's way until Caleb Schmiedeberg found himself all alone on the power play and rifled one home.

Panzer was the recipient of the majority of those previous odd-man rushes but could not beat Dorsey on any of his multiple attempts.

The rest of the game went by rather quickly as each team defended any second chances in front of its own nets quite well. It wasn’t until late in the third that a crucial mistake was made.

With Overgaard in the penalty box, a tic-tac-toe play off the face off gave Brown a hat trick and the Tigers a 3-2 lead.

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The Green Wave would keep their pace up in retaliation, and would even edge the Tigers in shots 29-17, but came up short trying to answer for the third time. Gunnar Paulson’s empty-net goal sealed the game.

“Throughout the game we made some mistakes that cost us, but it’s definitely something we can work on going forward,” Palmiscno said.

East Grand Forks, dropping to 0-1, will hit the road next with games at Detroit Lakes, Mahtomedi and St. Cloud Cathedral next week.

Delano 4, East Grand Forks 2,

1st period — DEL: Will Brown SH 10:31, EGF: Justin Overgaard PP (Sam Frost, Grady Magner) 11:20

2nd period — DEL: Brown (Anders Peterson) 2:51, EGF: Caleb Schmiedeberg (Magner) PP 15:05

3rd period — DEL: Brown PP 12:42, DEL: Gunnar Paulson ENG 16:48

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Goalie saves — DEL: Drew Dorsey 27, EGF: Elijah Kolstoe 12

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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