Grand Rapids Knocks Off WBL

MINNETONKA (Minn.) – Although the weather dampened Hockey Day Minnesota by forcing teams off of Lake Minnetonka and into the Pagel Activity Center, the action and intensity didn't lessen a bit. Two perennial AA powerhouses squared off when Grand Rapids met White Bear Lake on Saturday.

After a fast-paced start, Grand Rapids was the first team on the board with a goal from Cody Mann at 8:28. Penalties from both sides gave the teams chances in first but no other goals were scored, heading into the second period 1-0.

A boarding call on Grand Rapids put White Bear Lake on a five-minute powerplay early in the period. White Bear Lake capitalized at 5:51 with a powerplay goal by Mitch Morrisette. White Bear squandered their powerplay by committing two penalties of their own, giving Rapids the extra man. Grand Rapids headed to the locker room with a 2-1 after a late power play goal.

Rapids started the third where they left off, scoring two goals giving them a 4-1 lead. When it looked like White Bear was sunk, they dug deep and battled back and scored two goals in the final five minutes but were unable to net a third, allowing Grand Rapids to escape with a 4-3 victory.

Player of the game: Cody Mann had quite a game on Saturday, netting two goals including the first goal of the game as well as the game-winner in the third period.

Stat of the game: Despite losing the game, White Bear Lake outshot Grand Rapids, 28-23. Look for the Bears to make run in sections this year with a powerful but young offensive team.

Future Gopher: One player that Gopher fans were surely watching is Grand Rapids defenseman Jake Bischoff. Bischoff had an impressive game tallying two assists while making few mistakes defensively.

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