The St. Cloud Norsemen roared back in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit and force overtime but fell in a shootout to the Lone Star Brahmas by a 3-2 final.
St. Cloud dictated much of the pace of the first period, controlling time of possession and offensive zone time. The official shots of the first period were only in favor of the Norsemen 6-4 due to a wealth of opportunities that were either off target or blocked by Lone Star. Brahmas got the scoring when a wrap around attempt by Dhillon Wilde banked in between the leg pads of St. Cloud goalie Will Ingemann and despite protests from the Norsemen that the net had been dislodged the goal stood and gave Lone Star a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Brahmas extended their lead late in the second period of the frame when Bobby Barrasso picked off a pass just inside the St. Cloud blueline and popped it up to Wilde; Wilde then gloved it and down and turned it into a 2-on-0 which allowed Barrasso to one-time the return feed from Wilde with 74 seconds left in the middle frame.
The Norsemen dug deep in the third and drew the game within one when Ryan Cutler handed off to Nik Hong below the goal line and Hong found defenseman Broten Sabo pinching into the slot. Sabo wasted no time catching and releasing the Hong pass for a one timer from the inside of the right circle and the rebound of his shot kicked back out to him, where he backhanded it from a tough angle. It took a while to pry free from Lone Star goalie William Gramme and a myriad of players tried to poke it in or sweep it out but it slowly trickled over the goal line to cut the deficit to one 6:14 into the frame. Late in the game Hong once again factored in as he fed Cutler who brought the puck into the offensive zone and Kade Peterson snapped a shot from the left wing side that was kicked out but left a rebound that neither side could handle cleanly. Eventually Hong backhanded a shot giving up a second rebound that Cutler tapped in from the side of a cage from almost no angle. The goal with 3:46 left in regulation would force a 3-on-3 overtime.
In the dying seconds of the overtime frame the Norsemen made a tic-tac-toe play on a 3-on-1 break but Gramme made the save of the game sliding to his left and making a glove save from point-blank range. Gramme would stop all three St. Cloud attempts in the shootout and the Brahmas got the game-winner from former St. Cloud Blizzard player Matt MacDonald. MacDonald lost control of the puck on his team’s second shootout attempt and it even bounced off the left side boards but the puck continued moving towards the goal line and the officials confirmed it was a good goal after he went far side up over the glove of Ingemann.
St. Cloud outshot Lone Star 31-19 and picked up a point in the standings with the shootout loss. They’re back at it in Blaine Friday night at the Super Rink in a 2022 Robertson Cup Semifinal matchup vs. the Anchorage Wolverines. The puck drops at 7:15 pm and can be watched online at hockeytv.com.