Huskies bounce back with two wins

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The OPRF hockey club swept two Metro West games over the weekend, edging the Waubonsie Valley Warriors 3-2 on the road on Saturday and downing the Bartlett Hawks 3-1 on their home ice on Sunday.

With Saturday night's 3-2 win over Waubonsie Valley, the Huskies snapped a five-game Metro West losing streak. Andy Dirgo scored the game winner with 5:15 left in the third period, and goalie Tanner Houston withstood a flurry of Waubonsie Valley shots in the final seconds to preserve the victory.

Standing in front of the Warrior net, Dirgo took a pass out of the right corner from Zach Smith and slipped the puck by the goalie as he was being pulled down by a Warrior defenseman. Waubonsie Valley pulled their goalie in the last minute and put an extra attacker on the ice. Following a Huskies' timeout, the Warriors controlled the puck, forcing Houston to make five saves in the last 30 seconds of the game. Houston finished the game with 33 saves in 35 shots.

In Sunday night's game, Bartlett scored a rebound goal early in the first period to take a 1-0 lead. The lead held up until the third period, when OPRF came roaring back. Once again McDonnell and Slovak hooked up to start the Huskies' comeback. McDonnell's pass found Slovak streaking down the left side of the ice, and Slovak's wrist shot beat the Bartlett goalie to tie the game at 1-1.

With just under four minutes remaining, Smith's goal put the Huskies up 2-1. The goal was set up when Dirgo stopped a Bartlett clearing pass and got the puck over to Will Young, who passed to Smith cutting down the middle. Smith was able to tuck the puck between the goalie's pads.

The Huskies added an insurance goal, scoring on a power play with 2:21 remaining. McDonnell carried the puck into the Bartlett zone, fed Slovak with a perfect drop pass, and Slovak blasted a shot past the Bartlett goalie.

The Hawks pulled their goalie with 1:44 to go but were unable to put any pressure on OPRF.

After allowing the early first period goal, Huskies goalie Bob Grayson shut down the Bartlett offense for the rest of the game and stopped 34 of 35 shots.

The wins improved the Huskies' Metro West record to 3-5. The team returns to action on Sunday, hosting St. Charles North at Ridgeland Common. Face-off is at 6:10 p.m.

A press release contributed to this report.

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