by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Forty-two shots netted just two goals for the Elk River skaters on Saturday evening but those were enough to beat the Osseo Orioles and its plucky goalie Alex Otto, 2-0 at Elk River Arena.
“He was a real good goalie, one of the best we’ve seen,” said Elk coach Gordie Roberts. “He takes up a lot of net.”
Nick Bandescu, on a power-play rebound shot, and Jake Jaremko on a shorthanded, highlight-reel-type breakaway, each got one past Otto as the Elks won their fourth in a row.
The Elks had six power play opportunities to Osseo’s three, and finished with a 42-9 edge in shots.
Maclean Berglove was in the nets for the Elks.
“Our goalie wasn’t tested as much but he made a couple big saves, too,” said Roberts.
The Elks are 4-1 overall with four straight wins. They’re 3-0 in the NWSC along with Blaine and Maple Grove. Osseo fell to 1-3 in conference and 2-4 overall.
The game was scoreless for almost two full periods. The Elks broke through during a five-minute power play overlapping the second and third periods after Osseo’s Rudy Alexander was called for checking from behind.
Two minutes into that power play, Otto stopped two hard, close shots, by Tim Sanford and Chase Springman, but the puck settled six inches in front of the post for a split second, and Bandescu pounced and tapped it in, with 2:31 left in the second period. That was the senior forward’s first goal.
Otto continued to snag or smother everything that came at him until 4:12 remained in the game when Jaremko had a one-on-one opportunity and the soph forward fired the puck between Otto’s legs, his team-leading sixth goal.
With Osseo on the power play, Blake Hillman fired a perfect lead pass to Jaremko at mid-ice on a play started by Wyatt Ege in the defensive zone.
The Elks were 1-for-6 on power plays and that one came on a five-minute power play.
“We were great on the penalty kill,” said Osseo co-coach Kevin Willey. “But that’s the problem, we’re on the penalty kill too much. We’re going to struggle scoring goals all year. We can’t keep expending energy on power plays.”
Next for the Elks is a home game Tuesday against Anoka.