Goalie Tanner Holmes and defenseman Adam Pancoast of Thief River Falls prevented Lucas Debenedt from scoring on a wraparound during Thursday boys high school hockey action. The Broncos beat the Prowlers 3-2.
Early-season struggles for the Thief River Falls boys high school hockey team continued Thursday when the Prowlers dropped a 3-2 home ice decision to International Falls.
The loss dropped the Prowlers to 2-6. It was the Broncos’ first win in yearly single-game series since 2007-08.
“It was not a good game for us,” said Thief River Falls coach Tim Bergland. “We’re very disappointed. We did not come ready to play.”
The two teams played scoreless hockey with few offensive threats until the Broncos caught a break at 2:43 of the second period.
Thief River Falls goalie Tanner Holmes made a save on the play, kicking the puck behind the net.
But a centering pass by International Falls sophomore forward Jack Melltrom caromed off the goalie and into the net.
It was a 2-0 game when Erik Lassila scored at 13:58 of the second period. There was a battle for possession in the Thief River Falls zone before the puck ended up on the stick of Lassila in the slot. He had enough room and enough time to get off a quick, uncontested shot.
A quick 39 seconds later a 2-on-1 Thief River Falls rush put the Prowlers on the board as Logan Engelstad drove a shot past Broncos goalie Wesley Gunnerson.
The Prowlers tied it 2-2 when sophomore forward Zeb Nelson skated behind the Broncos’ net, came out on the right side and beat Gunnerson cleanly at 5:54 of the third period.
Overtime was looming before a late-game Thief River Falls penalty opened the door for the Broncos. Derek White took advantage of the opportunity when he scored off his own rebound in front of Holmes at 14:18.
Gunnerson finished with 27 saves; Holmes had 18.
“A lot of things we’re doing wrong right now are correctable,” said Bergland, “but we keep making the same mistakes. It’s very frustrating.”
The Prowlers will face Irondale, Chanhassen and Crookston in the annual Ralph Engelstad Arena Classic Dec. 27, 28 and 29.
First period – no scoring.
Second period – IF, Jack Mellstrom, 2:43; IF, Erik Lassila (Lucas Debenedet, Mellstrom), 13:58; TRF, Logan Engelstad (Isak Bergland, Grady Pederson), 14:37.
Third period – TRF, Zeb Nelson (Pederson), 5:54; IF, Derek White (Lassila), 14:18.
Goalie saves – TRF, Tanner Holmes 6-6-6–18; IF, Wesley Gunnerson 5-11-11–27