Mullets defeat Mallards, Blades in Home Opener at Northeast
By: Dan Bradley
MINNEAPOLIS -- With bellies full of turkey, the Minnesota Mullets were truly thankful for their home opener this weekend as they opened the doors at Northeast Arena and moved into their new home venue. After moving out of their previous home in Forest Lake, the Mullies were still hungry for wins against the Rum River Mallards and Steele County Blades.
The Mullets have played several “home” games this season at Ridder Arena and at 3M Arena at Mariucci, both on the University of Minnesota campus, as well as during the Blaine Showcase. There will be several more games at Ridder and Mariucci this season, as arena updates are ongoing at Northeast.
FRIDAY vs MALLARDS
Thorns in the others’ sides all season, the Mallards and Mullets squared off for the fourth time this year on Friday night. Each of the previous three contests were decided by one goal, and two of those three needed overtime to determine a winner.
Setting the tempo early, Blake Gutterman scored his 14th goal of the season just 35 seconds into the game. Morgan Sweeney joined in on the scoring, pushing the lead to 2-0, and the Mullets never looked back. After a power play goal from Peter Meyer cut the lead to 2-1, Cooper Hoheisel scored his team leading 17th goal of the season. Carrying a lead into the third, Jake Lindblom scored his 5th goal of the year (three of which have come against the Mallards, including an overtime game winner). Ever resilient, the Mallards cut the deficit to 4-3, following goals from Tanner Hallett and Akmed Malsagov. After a flurry of Mallard shots with the goaltender pulled, Sweeney was able to seal the win with his second goal of the game, scoring an empty-netter with just one second left on the clock.
FINAL: Mullets – 5, Mallards – 3.
1. Morgan Sweeney (2G, 2A)
2. Jack Bostedt (42 Saves on 45 Shots)
3. Jake Lindblom (GWG)
SATURDAY vs BLADES
With almost as much ice outside as there was in the rink, the Blades were hopeful to cut down the Mullets Saturday afternoon. Going back to the 2018-19 season, the Blades had won three of the past five meetings between the two, with two of those wins coming in overtime.
A slower start than the night before, neither team scored in the first period, but the Mullets erupted for four goals in the second period. Tyler Perkins and Gutterman got the scoring started, Andrei Denisov scored his first of the season, and Liam Golden scored his first goal as a Mullet after starting the season with the Rochester Vipers. Danila Besedin added his 11th of the season for the Blades to cut the lead to 4-1, but less than two minutes later, Perkins added an insurance goal and the Mullets went on to win 5-1.
FINAL: Mullets – 5, Blades – 1.
1. Andrei Denisov (1G, first of season)
2. Liam Golden (1G, first with the Mullets)
3. Tyler Perkins (2G)
The weekend wins pushed the Mullets record to 11-6-4 (26 pts) for the season and vaulted them into 5th in the Midwest West standings (two points ahead of the Minnesota Blue Ox, three points behind the Minnesota Moose).
Next on the schedule for the Mullies is a set of games against the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings. Thursday’s game will be at 7:00PM at Mariucci, and Friday’s game is at 6:30PM at Ridder. For ticket information, go to www.mulletshockey.com.