Prowlers sneak past Lyon, Bears .. Breakdown Sports USA Thief River Falls' Lansing scores winner in Section 8A semifinal against Lake of the Woods .. Courtesy of Hockey Hub / Breakdown Sports
Prowlers sneak past Lyon, Bears
03/01/2011, 9:12am (CST)
By Tim Kolehmainen, Breakdown Sports USA
Nearly everyone in Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls knew what the hometown Prowlers were facing in the Section 8A semifinal Monday night. And for those who didn’t, fans brought signs reminding them.
“Tame the Lyon.”
For two periods, the Lyon – Lake of the Woods senior goaltender Alex Lyon, that is – was running wild. Despite a shot chart loaded with more ink than the Sunday New York Times, the Prowlers were locked in a 1-1 tie with the third-seeded Bears.
As the second-seeded Prowlers pounded shot after shot on Lyon, they were greeted with that same message when they returned to the bench.
“Tame the Lyon.”
As the game aged, the Prowlers’ tension was obvious. After all, Lyon and the Bears had just shut them down 2-1 back on Feb. 1 – a game in which he had 29 saves. For a while, there was a distinct sense of déjà vu Monday night.
For Thief River Falls, the plan was simple against arguably the state’s best goaltender.
“Shoot, shoot, shoot,” said Prowlers’ coach Tim Bergland. “Traffic, tips and rebounds and all that stuff.”
But when Lyon is on his game – as he was Monday night – nothing comes easy.
"He’s tough to beat on that first shot, especially when he sees it,” continued Bergland. “(So we had) to get traffic and get in his way. It’s tough to stop the puck when he can’t see it, but he does cover a lot of net.”
Finally, with just 5.9 seconds left in the second period, the Prowlers’ Matt Audette corralled the puck in the corner and found defenseman Andrew Lansing streaking down the slot. His one-timer beat Lyon clean and gave the Prowlers a 2-1 lead.
Relief flooded through the Prowlers.
Audette pumped his fists as if the game were in its final seconds, not with a full period to play. As the horn sounded intermission, the Prowlers swarmed goaltender Jon Narverud. They were just one period away from meeting Warroad in the Section 8A final Thursday night.