Delano's Jake Lorentzen, left, works past MontiQuois' Mike Hoberg. Photo by Loren Nelson
As the final buzzer sounded in No. 1-ranked Delano’s 8-6 win over No. 3-ranked MontiQuois on Wednesday, May 9, a shoving match broke out.
The refs quickly moved between the players on the field, but not before the initial burst of emotion from both sides caused the midfield altercation.
Delano coach Dan Willette wasn’t terribly enthusiastic about the scrum, but for the Rage, keeping over-the-top responses in check during the actual game was a victory within a victory.
“Keeping the guys calm is something we’ve struggled with all year, and tonight they did an excellent job of keeping level heads out there and not letting the emotions get too high,” Willete said. “Try and just play their best game with an even temperament.”
Wednesday’s game at Delano High School in Delano showcased an emotional rollercoaster that seemed to decide the contest in the eyes of both coaches.
Delano's Luke Anderson, back, goes over the top in his attempt to strip the ball from MontiQuois' Chase Holum. Photo by Loren Nelson
The biggest difference between the clubs is the relative ages of the players. MontiQuois graduated around 15 seniors last season, leaving its roster occupied with underclassmen and a handful of seniors. Delano on the other hand, is chock full of veterans.
“We only graduated three seniors last year and we had an awfully good team last year.” Willette said. “Having all these guys back we have a senior heavy team, very mature, and they’ve played together for a while”
Early in the game, MontiQuois struck in spurts before falling back, playing the role of sprinter in the race. Delano hung around though, keeping within distance before tying the score at the half.
From there, the Rage’s seniors took over as Chase Willette scored twice, and Paul Hartman hung an exclamation point for Delano.
Although they have struggled with getting hot-headed in the past, Delano had just the right amount of control on Wednesday, and that senior experience put them over the edge at the right time.
“We came out pretty slow, we were tired, but we just got riled up for the second half and came ready to play,” Willete, a star attackman, said. “This is a big win for us, they’ve always competed with us.”
For MontiQuois, it was the flip side of the story.
“I think we got comfortable and [the players] thought ‘we got the game in hand,’ ” MontiQuois coach Luke Bame said. “They settled in and they just stopped playing their guys and stopped playing as a team and started playing individualistic because they thought they had it in hand.
“We’re a young emotional team. It’s hard to keep them in check.”
Delano has now held off MontiQuois twice this season, helping them stay atop the MBSLA rankings.
“It means a great deal to me to be the number one team in this league and hopefully we’ll continue to play well,” Coach Willette said. “As long as we play well, everything else will take care of itself.”
Delano's Jake Lorentzen, right, tries to elude MontiQuois' Andy Bales. Photo by Loren Nelson
Chase Willette scored two goals in the fourth quarter to buoy No. 1-ranked Delano to an 8-6 victory over No. 3-ranked MontiQuois on Wednesday, May 9 at Delano High School in Delano.
After a scoreless third quarter and with a tie game, Willette lashed out at MontiQuois, netting a hat trick for the Rage.
This is the second meeting of the two teams and the second win for Delano, who trounced MontiQuois 12-5 in the first game of the year.
Determined for revenge, MontiQuois got on the board early, jumping out to a two goal lead and finishing the first frame up 3-2. Delano looked outmatched in the first part of the contest, but the Rage fought back to tie the game at halftime, and eventually take the win.
"It means a lot, It’s a conference game," Delano coach Dan Willette said after the game. "They’re a tough team, it’s a big win now especially that we beat them twice. We’re in really good shape for a number one seed going in to the playoffs now."
Oliver Winsor scored a nifty goal for MontiQuois, spinning out of a double team and firing low for the third overall goal of the game.
It was a very emotional game for both sides, who tussled at the end. Both squads were heavily penalized throughout the game as well.
Goaltender Aaron Job had a nice game for MontiQuois, making 13 saves, most in the scoreless third quarter. Delano's Leo Southwick also finished with 13 saves.
1. Chase Willette, Delano
Willette gave Delano the burst it needed to topple MontiQuois with his two goals in the fourth quarter. Finishing with a hat trick, the senior attackman has 29 points this year (19 goals, 10 assists) which is tied for first on the Rage along with Graham Ylitalo. His first goal of the game was rolled on the ground like a bowling ball.
2. Paul Hartman, Delano
The senior midfielder had a nice high snipe in the second quarter to tie the game at five for Delano right before the first half. He also sealed the game as time expired, scoring Delano’s eighth goal. MontiQuois had scored with less than two minutes left, and Hartman put the contest out of reach.
3. Brady Artwohl, MontiQuois
Artwohl was a big part of a great early start for MontiQuois. He scored twice in the first half, including a pretty shot near the midway point of the game. The freshman attackman is having a solid season and is second on his team in points.