The Owatonna boys hockey team made the trip to Duluth to take part in the three-day Heritage Holiday Classic from Dec. 28-30 and ultimately finished in fourth place after posting a 1-2 record.
The Huskies kicked things off against Burnsville with a 4-2 win spearheaded by senior forward Tanner Stendel’s two-goal first period. Fellow senior forward Casey Pederson notched a power-play goal and sophomore forward Owen Beyer tallied his second of the year in the second period.
Senior goaltender Sam Pfieffer posted a .929 save percentage behind 26 saves on 28 shots during his 51 minutes between the pipes for his first in of the season.
The Huskies then ran into a roadblock in the semifinal round of the classic when they paired up against eventual classic winners and Class A No. 6 Duluth Denfeld.
The Hunters’ reign of dominance continued against Owatonna, which struggled to put up any points on the board. Denfeld benefitted from Connor McLure’s hat trick, two goals from Andy Larson and one goal from Cooper McClure and Kaden Postal.
Pfieffer and Preston Meier split time between the net with Pfieffer recording a .706 save percentage after saving 12 of 17 shots in 24:06 and Meier recorded a .882 save percentage stopping 15 of 17 shots in 26:54 in net.
Bounced out of the semifinal round, the Huskies lost 3-1 in the third-place game against Apple Valley in a game filled with Owatonna penalties.
The Eagles capitalized on the man advantage seven minutes into the first period with their first power play goal from Dominic Pries and again with two minutes left in the second period off a Jace Larson goal.
The Huskies went on a power play of their own and with under 30 seconds remaining in the second period, Stendel scored his first of the game and his team-leading eighth goal of the season. Pederson and Caleb Vereide were credited with the assists.
Heading into the third period, Owatonna trailed 2-1, but ended up back on the penalty kill, where the Eagles scored their third power play goal of the game with less than a minute and a half left to play.
The Huskies converted 1 of 5 power play opportunities, while the Eagles converted 3 of 5 opportunities with the man advantage.
Meier started in net for Owatonna and recorded a .917 save percentage with 33 saves on 36 shots on goal in 51 minutes on the ice.
The Huskies continue the regular season on the road Tuesday against Gentry Academy and Thursday against Rochester Mayo.