By Will Petersen
For the Courier
If you were at the concession stand a little too long, you probably missed it.
Chatfield scored four goals in the first five minutes of the second period to turn a 1-1 tie into a comfortable lead over Dakota Ridge on Dec. 9 at the Edge Ice Arena. The teams were even the rest of the way, but the damage was done as the Chargers came away with a 7-3 victory over the Eagles.
Chatfield (2-1, 2 points Foothills Conference) scored three of the four goals on the power play, including two of them while skating with 5-on-3 advantages. Both two-man advantages were set up by separate unsportsmanlike conduct penalties after the play was over.
“Tonight was about the refs. In my opinion they ruined a perfectly good hockey game. They should’ve let the kids play,” Dakota Ridge head coach Alec Hines said. “It’s unfortunate, and it happens sometimes, but 5-on-5 we’re evenly matched clubs.”
Regardless of how the advantages were gained, Chatfield’s coaches and players were happy they were able to capitalize on the power-play opportunities.
“We knew if we could score on those we could deflate any momentum they may have had, and we did,” Chatfield head coach Mark Glombecki said.
“Those were great. Coming through on both of those were huge. We practice a lot on the power play and it worked well for us tonight,” Chatfield senior Jay Tanji said.
Tanji finished with two goals and an assist. Both of his tallies came on the power play.
In the first period of a scoreless game, Tanji cleaned up a rebound off a shot by Logan Turner to make it 1-0 Chatfield. He also was right in the middle of the second period spurt, putting home another rebound goal off a shot from Tyler O’Connor to make it 3-1 Chargers.
After play settled and the penalty boxes were finally empty, Chatfield sophomore Thimy Moraitis put the exclamation point on the Chargers’ scoring spree with a breakaway goal that his coaches proudly exclaimed, “He water bottled it!”
Moraitis stole the puck at center ice and beat Dakota Ridge goalie Joey Osten over his left shoulder, knocking Osten’s water bottle off the top of the net in the process.
The teams exchanged goals the rest of the way, with Dakota Ridge getting no closer than three. Chatfield’s leading scorer was junior Brian Vits, who added a late goal to secure a hat trick for the night. The Eagles (1-3, 2 points) were led by junior Zach Czarnecki, who scored a pair of goals.
“We’re learning and getting better every game. Our best hockey is yet to come,” Hines said.