The OPRF Hockey Club faced off against two ranked teams last weekend, but came up short in both games, losing to St. Viator 4-1 on Saturday and to Bartlett 3-1 on Sunday.
Saturday's game against 17th-ranked St. Viator was closer than the final score indicated. The Lions took a 1-0 lead late in the first period, scoring on a breakaway, and the score remained 1-0 until late in the second period. With eight seconds remaining and a face-off coming up in the Huskies' zone, St. Viator took the risky move of pulling its goalie to get an extra skater on the ice. The Huskies (4-15, 0-6-1) were already shorthanded due to a penalty, and the extra skater created a 6-on-4 advantage for the Lions. The move paid off, resulting in a controversial goal as several St. Viator players jammed the crease and pushed the puck past OPRF goalie Bob Grayson. It appeared that the Lions interfered with Grayson on the play, but the referees allowed the goal to stand.
St. Viator added two third period goals before the Huskies regrouped. The team's lone goal came on a power play with 3:58 remaining when Mike Slovak took a cross ice pass from Brett Newman and blasted a slap shot by the Lions' goalie.
Grayson played a strong game in net for the Huskies, stopping 39 of 43 shots.
In Sunday night's game, 16th-ranked Bartlett evened the season series against the Huskies at 2-2. A scoreless first period featured an outstanding penalty kill by the Huskies, a great defensive play by Joel Meyerson to break up a 2-on-1 Bartlett rush, and a spectacular save by goalie Tanner Houston.
Down on his back, Houston managed to extend his stick across the right side of the goal, blocking a Bartlett shot that was headed for the back of the net. Bartlett took a 2-0 lead in the second period, scoring on a wrist shot that beat Houston high on the stick side, and again after a defensive mix-up in the Huskies' zone. However, Slovak's wrist shot from just inside the blue line, set up by a pass from Dean Rogers, cut the lead to 2-1 with 2:44 remaining in the period.
Bartlett came out fired up in the third period, getting off four shots on Houston, and the Hawks extended their lead to 3-1 at the 11:42 mark, scoring on a 3-on-2 rush.
A press release contributed to this report.