The Austin Packers boys’ hockey team closed out the regular sesaon Saturday afternoon at the Rochester Rec Center versus the John Marshall Rockets, and although the Packers had a 4-2 lead after one period, the Rockets came storming back in the second period with four goals of their own and went on to win 7-5.
JM’s Sam Hanson and Sam Eagen opened the scoring with goals just :34 seconds apart at 8:12 and 8:46 of the first period, but Austin came storming back with goals from Blaine Krueger at 10:04 with an assist to Kaleb Ree, Jameson Johnson at 13:09 with an assist to Cal Fox, another goal by Krueger at 15:46 and yet another only :09 second later by Nick Dunlap with an assist to Krueger to vault the Packers in front 4-2 at the end of one.
Unfortunately for Austin, the second period belonged to the hometown Rockets as four goals in the period, two for Teejay Torgrimson, another for Hanson and the fourth from Sam King put JM back in front, 6-4 at the end of two. Ryan Hus of John Marshall added some insurance with a goal at 10:52 of the third period to increase the Rockets’ lead to 7-4, and Jackson Egner finished out the scoring with a goal for Austin at 15:29, with an assist to Krueger, his fourth point of the game.
Each team was 0-6 on the power play, and Austin was whistled for seven penalites for 22 minutes, while John Marshall was also called for seven penalites for 14 minutes. Brayden Klapperick was between the pipes for the Packers and turned away 36 of the 43 shots he faced, while JM’s Luke Hugeback made 30 saves in facing 35 shots to get the win.
Austin finishes the regular season with a record of 1-23, and they will be the No. 9 seed in the Section 1A boys’ hockey playoffs. The Packers will travel to No. 8 seed Winona Tuesday night for a first round matchup with the Winhawks at Bud King Arena at 7:00 p.m. The winner advances to play the No. 1 seeded Dodge County Wildcats in Dodge Center Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.