The Austin Packers boys’ hockey team played host to the Waseca Bluejays in their final regular-season home game Tuesday night at Riverside Arena, and though the Packers jumped out to a 2-0 lead, the Bluejays came storming back by scoring the next nine goals in a 9-3 win.
Austin took a 1-0 lead at 8:35 of the first period on a short-handed goal by Caleb Ree, and he then assisted on another short-handed goal :34 seconds later from Bubba Grunewald and another assist on the goal to Jameson Johnson to put the Packers in front 2-0. The Bluejays, though, used a power play and an even-strength goal to tie the game at 2 at the end of one.
Waseca came out with guns blazing in the second period and broke the game wide open with six goals in the period, with two apiece for Ben Priebe, Kyle Alschlager and Jagger Johnson. Priebe then completed the hat trick 1:15 into the third period to make the score 9-2 before Jackson Enger scored on the power play for Austin at 6:16, with an assist to Ree to account for the final score.
The Packers were penalized six times in the game for 12 minutes while Waseca was whistled for five penalties for 10 minutes. Austin was 1-5 on the power play,while the Bluejays struck for three power-play goals in six chances. Sam Eyre faced 39 shots in the net for the Packers and made 30 saves while Ben Dedrich faced 30 shots for Waseca and turned away 27 of them for the win.
With the loss, Austin falls to 1-21 on the season. The Packers have two games left in the regular season, and both are on the road, starting with Faribault Thursday night at 7:15 p.m. Austin will close out the regular season on Saturday afternoon in Rochester against the John Marshall Rockets, with face-off at 1:00 p.m. at the Rochester Rec Center.