The Shakopee boys hockey team has had its ups and downs nearing the midway point of the season.
The Sabers opened 2022 with a 5-4 home loss to Eastview Jan. 4 in South Suburban Conference play. The Lightning led 4-0 after two periods and held off Shakopee in the final frame.
The Sabers (5-6-1 overall, 1-4-1 in the SSC) headed into the New Year winning two of three games in its own holiday classic Dec. 28-30.
Shakopee opened with a 2-1 win over Tartan, followed with a 2-1 setback to East Ridge, before finishing with a 3-0 victory over Chanhassen.
The Sabers have a young group, so some inconsistency was to be expected. Coach Calvin Simon said his goal before the season was to get his team playing its best come playoff time.
Simon is giving two eighth-graders — defenseman Carson Steinhoff and forward Cole Bumgarner — significant ice time, and ninth-grader Cooper Simpson is third on the team in points through 12 games with 10 (8 goals, 2 assists).
Junior Jackson Vogel was leading the team in points through 12 games with 14 (8 goals, 6 assists), while senior Jere Huson had 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists). Steinhoff was second on the team in assists with seven.
Sophomore Alexsi Huson has started nine games in goal for the Sabers, posting one shutout and a 2.00 goals-against average. Huson had 33 saves in the win over Chanhassen.
Simpson, junior Linus Toward and senior Jack Canny had the Sabers’ goals. Steinhoff and Huson each picked up an assist.
In the loss to Eastview, four different Sabers scored goals — Vogel, senior Joe Roder and sophomores Jake Marschall and Easton Langemo.
Vogel tallied at the 6:10 mark of the third period, which cut Eastview’s lead to 4-3. The Lightning scored with 2:40 left to play to make it 5-3, but Langemo answered that goal just 14 seconds later.
However, Shakopee couldn’t get the equalizer in the final 2:22 of the game.
Toward, Steinhoff, Bumgarner, senior George Stamos and junior Sam Zovic each had assists in the loss for the Sabers. Alexsi Huson finished with 33 saves in goal.
In beating Tartan, Vogel had a goal and an assist to lead Shakopee. Jere Huson also scored, while Bumgarner picked up an assist. Alexsi Huson made 27 saves.
Huson and senior Jackson Ungar both played in goal in the loss to East Ridge, finishing with 15 and nine saves, respectively. Canny had the Sabers’ goal with Bumgarner getting the assist.
Section 2AA play is not that far off with the quarterfinals set for Feb. 24. The semifinals are scheduled for Feb. 26 and the title game is March 2. The final two rounds will be played at Braemar Ice Arena in Edina.
There was only one ranked team in the field heading into the New Year — No. 9 Minnetonka (6-4-1). Chaska (8-4) opened the season ranked in the top 10, but has since fallen out of the Class 2A poll.
The Hawks earned a 7-3 win over the Sabers back on Dec. 21.
Eden Prairie (6-5), Prior Lake (4-6), Chanhassen (7-3-1), Bloomington Jefferson (4-6) and Holy Family (3-11) are also in the field. Eden Prairie is the defending champion.