Packers can’t build off strong second period in loss to Raiders

Published 9:40 pm Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Austin boys hockey team couldn’t keep the momentum after a solid second period effort as it lost to Northfield 3-0 in Riverside Arena Thursday.

The Packers (2-10 overall) were outshot 17-5 in the opening frame and they trailed 1-0, but they were able to turn the tables and outshoot the Raiders 12-8 in the second and stay in the game. Unfortunately for Austin, they weren’t able to connect on a goal on any of those shots.

“Our second period was our best period of hockey all year, even thought we didn’t score,” Austin head coach Jason Merritt said. “I think the kids started to realize what their potential can be in that period. We have to translate that to all three periods and penalties have a way of killing momentum. We just need to learn to stay out of the box.”

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The Raiders grabbed momentum early in the third period when they had an early five-on-three power play that led to a goal by Devon Jirik to make it 2-0. Zachary Marvin tacked on another power play goal later in the third to put the game away.

Ryan Flanders stopped 41 shots in net for Austin, but he wasn’t able to keep up against Northfield’s power play opportunities.

“It’s really tough,” Flanders said. “It takes a little bit of the wind out of your sails, but you have to just keep fighting through it. We’ve got to keep working and we’ve go too keep up the pace.”

Austin pulled its goalie while on a power play late in the game to get a six-on-three advantage, but it wasn’t able to get on the board.

Austin’s Cal Fox crashes the Northfield’s net with the Raiders’ Cole Dack during the first period Thursday night at Riverside ARena. Eric Johnson/

Merritt said the Packers need to change their focus and keep battling if they want to turn things around.

“We’re a program that has a hard time winning and we played well for a period and things didn’t go our way. It’s almost like we hung our heads,” Meritt said. “We’ve got to reset and play the next period as hard as the last one and accept the fact that if we work hard, good things will come with it. Losing is contagious unfortunately.”

Austin’s Hunter Guyette puts a shot on net in the first period against Northfield at Riverside Arena. Eric Johnson/


Northfield 1  0  2    3

Austin 0  0  0    0

First period

(N) Devon Jirik (Carson Van Zuilen, Zachary Kruger) 7:02

Second period

No scoring

Third period

(N) Jirik (power play) (Chase Murtha) 4:46

(N) Zachary Marvin (power play) (Van Zuilen) 11:12

Shots: Austin — 26; Northfield — 44

Power plays: Austin — 0-for-4; Northfield — 1-for-7

Austin’s Bubba Grunewald pressures Northfield’s Garrett Sawyer during the second period Thursday night in Riverside Arena. Eric Johnson/