In a game you heard on AM 1480 KAUS, the Austin Packers boys hockey team played host to the Waseca Bluejays from the Big South Conference in a non-conference matchup at Riverside Arena Tuesday evening, and a goal from junior forward Keaton Roeker 1:12 into overtime lifted the Bluejays to a 3-2 win.
Austin took a 1-0 lead at 2:20 of the first period when senior forward Cade Morrison found linemate Matthew Phanchan with a pass behind the Waseca defense, and Phanchan raced off on a breakaway and tucked a backhander inside the right post past Bluejays goaltender Carter Marten for his first goal of the season. The Packers made the score 2-0 at 14:10 of the period when sophomore forward Grady Carney tipped a centering feed from linemate Gahvin Schaefer from the left corner out of the air and into the back of the net for his third goal of the season, with another assist on the goal going to senior wing Isaac Stromlund. Waseca then tipped the momentum of the game towards their bench with an unassisted goal from sophomore forward Brayden Hesch-Priem with only :19 seconds left in the period to make the score 2-1 at the end of one period of play.
The Bluejays scored the only goal of the second period at 3:54 when senior forward Griffen Krautkramer sniped a wrist shot from the right circle high over the blocker of Austin netminder Ethan Knox for his 11th goal of the season to tie the game at two apiece, and from there, both teams manufactured good scoring chances, but they were foiled by Knox and Marten, both of whom made several sparkling saves to keep the game knotted at 2-2. The Packers killed off a 2-man advantage for the Bluejays at the end the third period and :28 seconds into overtime to keep the game tied, but Waseca’s Kyle Ahlschlager, the team’s leading goal scorer and point-getter found Roeker with a pass in the right circle in the Austin end, and Roeker was able to stickhandle his way into the slot and beat Knox with a wrist shot to the blocker side for the game winner.
Waseca outshot the Packers for the game 35-29, and Knox made 32 saves, many of them spectacular in taking the hard-luck loss, while Marten made 27 saves for the Bluejays to earn the win between the pipes. Austin committed four penalties for eight minutes, while Waseca was whistled for two penalties in the game for four minutes, and neither side scored on the power play.
With the loss, the Packers are now 1-7 on the season, and they return to action Thursday night in Winona versus the Winhawks in a Big 9 Conference game, with the varsity face-off at 7:15 p.m.