The Austin Packers boys hockey team was looking to run their season-opening win streak to three games versus the St. Paul Johnson Governors in a non-conference matchup at Riverside Arena Tuesday evening, and although the Packers faced a multi-goal deficit for the second straight game, they were able to rally again with four unasnwered goals in a 5-3 win.
Austin’s Gavriel Reyes notched his first goal of the season at 8:25 of the first period to give the Packers a 1-0 lead after one, but St. Paul Johnson answered with the first three goals of the second period to move out on top, 3-1. Sophomore defenseman/forward Naryk Rector scored his first goal of the season at 14:42 of the period to cut the Governor’s lead to 3-2, with assists to Elijah Krueger and Gahvin Schaefer, and only :27 seconds later, Isaiah Hemann continued the comeback attempt with a goal at 15:09, with an assist to Reyes to tie the game at 3 after two periods of play. Schaefer scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal early in the third period at 2:21, with an assist to Cody Pedersen, and Bradley Lagerstedt provided Austin some insurance with a goal at 15:49 to give the Packers the 5-3 win.
Austin outshot St. Paul Johnson 45-33 for the game, and Packer netminder Daran Plunkett turned away 30 of the 33 shots he faced to earn the win, while Tyler Mishica made 40 saves in facing 45 shots to take the loss between the pipes. The Packers were called for six penalties for 12 minutes, while the Governors were whistled for eight penalties for 19 minutes. The Packers were 0 for 6 on the power play, while the Governors were 1 for 4 with the man advantage.
With the win, Austin is now 3-0 overall on the season and 1-0 in the Big 9 Conference. The Packers return to action at Riverside Arena versus Northfield Thursday night, and we’ll have the game coming your way on AM 1480 KAUS, with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m., and face-off at 7:00 p.m.