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Cross-border bantams advance to State Tournament

Submitted by
Sonya Asselin

Lake of the Woods Bantams Advance to the State Tournament
The Lake of the Woods Bantams finished the season the number one seed in District 16. Having earned the number one seed the Bears received a bye in the first round of district play.
In the first round the Bears faced a much improved Crookston team. Lake of the Wood defeated Crookston 4-1.
In the District Championship game the Bears faced the second seeded team from Bemidji. Lake of the Woods was able to defeat the Bemidji team 3-2 in overtime.
The Lake of the Woods Bantams traveled to Morris, MN February 28th for the West Regional Hockey Tournament (double elimination).
The Lake of the Woods Bears first faced off against Champlain Park. Regulation time ended with the game tied 2 – 2 with the first goal coming from Journey Dahl assisted by Luke Krause and the second goal from Luke Krause assisted by Hunter Carlin. The first overtime sudden life period was played 5 on 5 with no winner being decided. The second overtime period was played four on four again ended with no winner being decided. The third overtime played three on three saw the Bear’s Asher Chorney finding the back of the net for a 3-2 victory.
The Bears next faced a strong team from Wadena. The Bears took the lead with a goal from Nathen Poolman, with Asher Chorney picking up the assist, in the first period. The Bears held the lead until midway through the third period, when Wadena tied the score at 1-1. Wadena scored the winning goal with eight seconds remaining in regulation time for the 2-1 win.
The Bears took to the ice next again the Northern Lakes team out of Breeze Point. Northern Lakes took the lead in the second period. The Bears answered with a goal from Journey Dahl with assists coming from Luke Krause and Chris Stone. The Bears added another tally two minutes later when Ryan Torgeson with the assist coming from Nathan Poolman for a 2-1 lead. McKord Krause added an unassisted insurance goal in third period. The game concluded with a Lake of the Woods 3-1 victory.
The Bears next met another strong, fast skating team from Andover. The Bears wasted no time scoring, at the 13:49 mark of the first period with a goal from Ryan Torgeson with an assist going to Nathan Poolman.
Lake of the Woods added another goal in the first with Nathan Poolman scoring with assists going to Luke Krause and Hunter Carlin. Lake of the Woods added two markers to the board in the second frame with goals from Jared Sipe assisted by Luke Krause and a goal from Hunter Carlin with Chris Stone getting the assist.
The fifth and final goal for the hockey Bears was an unassisted shot from the stick of Journey Dahl, with the final score being Lake of the Woods 5, Andover 0. One additional goal was scored by a hard-working, very driven Ethan Haataja, but due to the referee being caught out of position and the goal judge being in mid-nap, the goal was not allowed. Multiple fans behind the net and the players at the net saw the puck in the net behind the Andover goalie, but the quick thinking goalie pulled the puck from behind him, back out of the net. This is only mentioned as this was Ethan’s first goal of the season and he worked like a banshee to score this goal. Ethan, Congratulations on your goal.
The deciding game to determine who would be the second team to advance to the State Tournament from the West Region was a rematch between the Bears and Wadena.
Blaine, having won all three of their games was the first team to advance.
The Bears scored at the 4:26 mark of the first period by Nathan Poolman unloading a rocket of a slap shot over the Wadena goalies shoulder from just inside the blue line. At the 7:18 mark of the second period Nathan Poolman let another shot go from the blue line this shot was tipped into the net off the stick of Ryan Torgeson. Another tally was added just over a minute later with an excellent pass from Journey Dahl to Chris Stone to bring the score to 3-0. The fourth and final Lake of the Woods goal was scored at 10:32 by Journey Dahl with the assist going to Nathan Poolman, with a final score of 4-0.
Lake of the Woods goalie Isaiah Srivastava played an excellent tournament making more than 100 saves and allowing only 6 goals. Isaiah was chosen by his teammates to be the Lake of the Woods player to accept the West Region 2nd place trophy, a well-deserved honor.
All of the Lake of the Bantams were contributors to the Bears successful weekend. Whether it was solid defensive play of Braedon Davidson, Josh Pieper, Jared Sipe and Nathan Poolman or the aggressive forward play of Ethan Haataja, Hunter Carlin, Chris Stone, Journey Dahl, Luke Krause, McKord Krause, Asher Chorney, Josh Haataja, Austin Paoli, and Ryan Torgeson, or the outstanding, “stand on his head” play of goaltender Isaiah Srivastava. All players were a part of the positive results the Bears experienced: cheering their teammates on from the bench, biting their tongue when they didn’t 100% agree with an official’s call, or understanding the shortened bench of tournament play, The Lake of the Woods Bears Bantams play as a team.
The players and coaches would like to thank the parents for their support throughout the season. Coach Krause spoke with the Lake of the Woods parents before the final game of the regional tournament. He explained our players are about to step onto the ice for the 5th game within a 48 hour span of time (one being triple overtime) and that the players could use all the energy the Lake of the Woods fans could provide to their team. As the Bantam Bears took to ice the Bear fans erupted with cheers which brought immediate smiles to the faces of our young men on the ice. This energy continued throughout the game and was the Lake of the Wood’s sixth player. Thank you to the parents for a season of positive cheering and support throughout the season.
The Lake of the Woods parents and players would like to thank Bantam Head Coach Don Krause for his tireless leadership throughout the season. Coach Krause brings a wealth of hockey knowledge, a love of hockey and it’s players, a gift of coming up with the best pre-game motivational speeches and a constant, contagious positive attitude. Coach Krause comes to each practice or game well prepared and with the number one goal of maintaining a competitive, fun, and positive learning environment. THANK YOU for all that you do.
Lastly, the Bantams would like to thank the local communities for all of the support throughout the season thus far. It was only minutes after the final game ended that the cell phones starting ringing with words of congratulations from countless people. Thank you to all, your support is greatly appreciated. The Bantam Bears will need your energy as well as they advance to the Bantam State Tournament.
Lake of the Woods Bantams now advance to the state tournament on March 14th, with the first game at 6 pm in Silver Bay.