Mullets Find Four Points in Their Stockings with Sweep of Ducks, Look to Chicago Showcase Before Holiday Break
By: Dan Bradley
FOREST LAKE, MN -- As the temperatures continue to drop, the USPHL season is undoubtedly heating up. In what is already shaping up to be a tight Midwest West Division race, where third and seventh places are separated by just four points, the Mullets needed to bounce back strong after getting swept on the road by the Hudson Havoc. A home series against the Dells Ducks would be just the present the Mullets needed.
Friday night marked the Mullets’ second annual “Teddy Bear Toss” night; after the Mullets’ first goal, fans who brought teddy bears could throw them onto the ice, where they would be collected and donated to the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital.
In full holiday spirit, the Mullies didn’t keep the fans waiting; Ben Borrseon’s goal just 28 seconds into regulation gave the Mullets a 1-0 lead, and the Lichtscheidl Arena Ice was quickly covered in bears of all shapes, sizes and colors. The teddies, however, were the only niceties the remainder of the game. In a chippy, back-and-forth contest that saw 25 combined minor penalties make the naughty list... er... scoresheet, the Mullets broke the game open in the third period and won 10-5.
Leading the way for Minnesota were Borreson (who added another goal in the third), Hayden Ripley, who recorded two goals and an assist in his best offensive output of the year, Jake Lindblom (who also recorded two goals and an assist), and Dylan Hullaby (three assists).
Continuing with the season of giving, the Mullets also ran a toy drive during Sunday’s game. Scoring was at much more of a premium in the afternoon tilt, with both Jack Bostedt and Emil Normann stepping up their performances in net.
Despite outshooting the Ducks 23-14 through the first two periods, the Mullies found themselves trailing the Dells 1-0 heading into the third period. However, Tyler Morrison tied the game up just two minutes into the final frame, and Hayden Ripley continued his strong weekend by scoring the go-ahead goal 42 seconds later.
The Ducks threw everything they could at the net, but Bostedt stood tall and the Mullets went on to win 2-1. With the win, Minnesota are now 3-0-1 against the Dells this season.
Following the first period of Sunday’s game, the Mullets had a brief ceremony to celebrate captain Nate Holm’s 100th point of his junior hockey career (42G, 58A), which he recorded in the December 7th game in Hudson.
In front of family and friends, Holm was presented with a ceremonial puck marking the achievement. Holm is currently tied for 11th among all USPHL skaters on the season, scoring 17 goals and adding 24 assists in 27 games.
Up next on the schedule is a four-game showcase in Chicago before the team will head home for the holiday break. The Mullets will play the Decatur Blaze (9-16-1) and Minnesota Blue Ox (13-9-1) on Friday, the Midwest Blackbirds (12-13-1) on Saturday, and the Motor City Hockey Club (18-8-0) on Sunday.
Minnesota has split the season series so far against the Blue Ox (3-1 loss, 5-2 win, both on the road), but has not played any of the other showcase opponents this year. All games will be broadcast on HockeyTV; updates will also be posted on the Mullets’ Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.