VICTORIA, MN — Heading into Saturday, No. 5 Holy Family Catholic Fire and the No. 6 Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders, both undefeated since falling in mid-December, were on a collision course in what was considered one of the top games of the week and an opportunity for both private schools to flex their muscles to rest of the state.
Yet, just like the Edina-Minnetonka game two days prior which was also pegged as a must-watch, this game went from bad to ugly to embarrassing as Matthew Gleason, Danny Magnuson and Nick Davison each scored twice to power Cretin-Derham Hall to a 10-1 victory over Holy Family Catholic last night at Victoria Recreation Center.
It did not appear that way in the first, though.
Holy Family came out with a mindset of controlling the puck and it was working in the first period. Their efforts led to excellent fore-checking that provided senior Joe Hankinson the chance to rifle in a goal from the far face-off circle and put the Fire up 1-0 only three minutes into the first.
— Holy Family Hockey (@HFhockey) January 27, 2018
The Fire controlled the rest of the period as well as they held the Raiders to a measly three shots on goal through the first. But it seemed that the Raiders were limited in their opportunities due to poor spacing in the offensive zone.
Holy Family fans in attendance thought it was going to continue being a constricting match-up, but Cretin-Derham knew they had to strike early to regain their confidence if they were going to come out with the victory — and they did.
Only 49 seconds into the second frame, Gleason, a sophomore, flew into the zone in a 2-on-1, flipped the puck behind his back to fellow sophomore Davison who passed it right back in front of the net for Gleason to get the Raiders on the board.
The Raiders’ Billy Honsa proceeded to win the ensuing face-off before passing it on to Michael Kramer who popped in the team’s second goal only 29 seconds later. But the floodgates were just opening as Zach Brydges hit just 26 seconds after that to give Cretin-Derham three goals under two minutes into the second period and a 3-1 lead.
Cretin-Derham Hall (16-2-1) was just getting started.
On the power play at 3:52, Joe Buckingham took a shot from the point and as it traveled to the net, Davison tipped it in from right out front to extend the Raiders’ lead to 4-1.
The Cretin-Derham fans were ecstatic as Holy Family (14-3-1) was forced to call their timeout to try and regroup and resemble some form of the team they were all season.
It was a head-scratching beginning to the second for coach Noel Rahn’s team.
“Kids were making simple mistakes and not playing within the team systems,” Rahn said. “Effort was not there, and we were not able to match their intensity once they converted on those early second period goals.”
During the timeout and in need of a spark, Rahn pulled starting goaltender Conan Hayton in favor of for Dylan Halliwill who had yet to see any varsity time this season.
As for Cretin-Derham, the spacing issues of the first period were long gone, everything was clicking and they feasted on the inexperienced goaltender by added three more goals in the period to make it a 7-1 game. The Raiders added two more power play goals during the flurry giving Cretin-Derham Hall three goals with the man-advantage in the frame.
Magnuson scored on a slow roller before setting up Gleason for his second goal of the game before the Raiders connected again when Grayson Milosch fanned the flames with another marker on a breakaway.
With the shocking 7-1 lead after two, the clock would be running throughout the third unless the Fire would be able to crack a suddenly stifling defense that proved up to task in shutting down Mr. Hockey candidate Ben Almquist to this point.
The Raiders continued to grind putting pain into the home team’s fan appreciation day with three more goals in the third. The first came off a Holy Family defensive turnover that led to one the most beautiful tic-tac-toe plays from Gleason to Kramer to Davison, who eventually netted the goal three minutes in. Niko Castro capitalized on a lapse in concentration as he snagged the puck off a Fire defender’s stick and broke away for another goal at 11:52 before the onslaught finally ended when Cretin’s fourth line, which had seen barely any time all game, got in on the action when Magnuson put it home off assists from Tommy Cummings and Henry Jaunich.
When asked what his message to the team was after being completely controlled in the first, Raiders head coach Jim O’Neill said: “Just put the puck on net. We had breakaways throughout the first, but they just shut it down.”
The real joy came from Gleason who said it was not only a great team win, but the team “was pumped after the second period and going crazy in the locker room.”
“It’s amazing to shut down a great team across the board with such great players,” Gleason, with 20 goals and 20 assists for 40 points on the year, said.
As for Holy Family and what a loss like this means to their future aspirations this season, coach Rahn didn’t mince words.
“This is a wake-up call for us. Playoffs are right around the corner and we need to go back to work on Monday and get the boys playing like we were when we won 11 games in a row,” Rahn said. “It won’t be easy, but we have some older guys on the team that we feel can help lead the charge.”
1. F Matthew Gleason (CDH) – 2 G, 2 A, 4 Pts
2. D Danny Magnuson (CDH) – 2 G, 3 A, 5 Pts
3. F Nick Davison (CDH) – 2 G, 2 A, 4 Pts
Written by Jack Kewitsch / @JackKewitsch
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