The Blaine Bengals were nearly handed their first conference loss by Elk River but stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Elks 4-3 in overtime Thursday evening at Elk River Area.
An unstoppable shot by Tyler Cline, who got the puck with his back to the goal, spun 180 degrees and fired it over Maclean Berglove’s shoulder, was the game-winner 4:22 into overtime.
The Elks managed just 12 shots on goal to Blaine’s 30, but led 3-1 after two periods. They got a deflection goal by Jack Geissler in the first period, then two in the second on a shot from front of the net by Chase Springman and a breakaway by Andrew Zerban.
Reggie Lutz and Grant Bunker assisted on the first goal, Austin Larson and Blake Hillman on the second, and Wyatt Ege on the third, for the Elks (5-2 conference, 8-7 overall). Berglove made 26 saves.
Blaine (6-0 conference, 8-4-1 overall) had a first-period goal by Dallas Gerads. Down 3-1, the Bengals caught up in the third period on a top-shelf dart by Jesse Norling at 2:14 and a power play rebound shot by Jesse Lau at 7:51.
The Elks had a five-minute major on Springman for head contact that overlapped the third period and overtime. The Bengals didn’t score during that stretch (they had a two-minute penalty themselves) but kept attacking and got the payoff from Cline.
The Elks will play at Osseo on Saturday, 7 p.m.