Stadstad Classic: Apple Valley tops Grafton
Apple Valley coach Jerry Hayes split up stars A.J. Michaelson and Hudson Fasching during the last couple of games. He put them back together Thursday night and they were too much to handle for Grafton-Park River. Michaelson scored three goals and...
Apple Valley coach Jerry Hayes split up stars A.J. Michaelson and Hudson Fasching during the last couple of games.
He put them back together Thursday night and they were too much to handle for Grafton-Park River.
Michaelson scored three goals and had an assist, Fasching tallied two assists and linemate Tate Erickson had a goal and two assists as the Eagles topped the Spoilers 5-0 in the opening round of the Herald Jason Stadstad Hockey Classic in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Defending tournament champion Apple Valley advances to the semifinals, where it will take on Grand Forks Red River in a rematch of last year's title game at 7:45 p.m. The Spoilers will play Bismarck High at 3:15 p.m.
The Eagles, a Minnesota state-tournament team from a year ago, improved to 4-2 thanks to the explosive top line.
"Five hours on a bus is a lot of time to think," Apple Valley coach Jerry Hayes said about his decision to reunite Michaelson and Fasching. "We kind of want to put pressure on our second and third lines to perform a little more. We looked at the tape and noticed that even when we split them up, we were still only a one-line team. We're also still experimenting in our nonconference games."
Michaelson, who has committed to Minnesota, scored twice in the first period -- both on backhand dekes -- and finished off the hat trick with a goal from the top of the crease in the third. He now has nine goals on the season.
Erickson, who opened the scoring with a rebound goal and made great passes to set up Michaelson twice, has earned his spot on the top line, Hayes said.
"Tate has been playing well all year," Hayes said. "He's been our most consistent player from night to night all year. And that's including everybody. That's including our high-profile players."
The Spoilers, who dropped to 2-4 on the season, fired 16 shots at goalie Aaron Gretz, but couldn't get one by him. Still, coach Scott Peterson was pleased with his team's play.
"(Apple Valley) is a very skilled team from top to bottom," Peterson said. "We made a few mistakes and they capitalized on them every time. Whether it was a turnover or a blocked shot, they scored every time they had a chance and that was the difference.
"I was pleased with how our kids played. They played hard all the way until the end. They played the opponent and not the scoreboard. That's the kind of effort we want to see."