By: Jared Hines
On Dec. 21, 2019, the Monticello Moose and the Delano Tigers met at Delano Ice Arena for a regular-season Saturday matchup. The Moose were 6-3 at the time and on a four-game winning streak. By the end of the night, the winning streak was snapped as Delano handed the Moose their fourth loss in a 7-3 rout.
77 days later, Delano defeated the Moose again winning 2-1 in the MSHSL Class A Consolation Championship.
The first period went scoreless as both teams weren’t able to take advantage of power plays and scoring opportunities. The Tigers thought the puck was going to cross the net a couple of times–especially halfway through the period when they had a two-man advantage–but goaltender Nash Wilson was there much like he has been all season. The junior made a handful of fantastic saves–13 total–as both teams skated off the ice for the first intermission. The Moose had ten shots of goal through the first period.
As the puck dropped for the second, the Moose got the first shot on goal but Delano took five on the next seven as both teams looked to take the first lead of the game. Gavin Brook, Huntley Hinz and Wilson Dahlheimer produced a few good scoring chances for the Moose but the score held at 0-0 as the clock ticked under eight minutes left to play.
With 3:57 left in the second period, the Moose got their next best opportunity as Delano was called for a penalty. 1:16 later, the Chase Bocken was sent into the box for the Moose, producing the second four-on-four opportunity of the period. Delano was called for yet another penalty with nine seconds left in the second, giving the Moose a power play for the first 1:51 of the final period of the season. The Tigers outshot the Moose 12-5 in the second period.
In the final period, Monticello was able to produce three good shots on the power play but ultimately fell up short in putting the puck into the back of the net. With 14:03 left to play, Wilson saved a Delano shot and the puck leaped into the air. The Moose got unlucky as the puck hit the back of Wilson’s helmet and tip-toed into the net, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Delano maintained that lead until 9:02 left to play. There, Chase Bocken and Jeffrey Henrikson assisted on a Brian Cornelius goal that he fired past the Tigers goalie. Cornelius and Co. rushed to the other end of the ice to celebrate in front of the Moose student section who came in bunches to watch the Moose in the team’s final game. Despite the Moose outshooting the Tigers 14-6 in the third period, the Moose’s lone goal sent the game into overtime.
In the 8-minute overtime period, Delano scored on the power play with 4:50 remaining to win the game.
The Moose graduate nine seniors from the 2019-20 roster. Jeffrey Henrikson, Copper Landkammer, Huntley Hinz, Jacob Sorensen, Brian Cornelius, Spencer Lewis, Jacob Pederson, Alex Opatz and Chase Bocken will be missed next season as the 2020-21 roster will try to advance to Moose back to the Class A State Tournament in March of 2021. The team returns seven juniors and four sophomores.