Skaters’ win streak snapped

TRIPPED UP IN FRONT OF THE NET - Ely senior Austin Meskill tumbled to the ice after being tripped by an International Falls player. Photo by Finn Bay Photography.

by Tom Coombe -

A brief win streak came to an end last weekend as Ely’s high school hockey team stepped up in competition level.
International Falls extended its decades-old win streak against the Wolves, while Lake of the Woods completed a regular season sweep the following afternoon.
Ely lost 8-0 in a Jan. 4 tilt to International Falls, but was much more competitive while dropping a 7-4 decision to Lake of the Woods.
The Wolves were coming off a pair of wins at the North Shore Holiday Tournament, but their opposition during the two-game homestand was much stronger than it was the previous weekend.
Ely hasn’t defeated a Section 7A foe since 2012 and it’s unclear if the Wolves have ever defeated International Falls in prep hockey.
Neither streak was in jeopardy when the Broncos visited the Ely Arena.
They racked up a 56-13 advantage in shots on goal and were never threatened.
Back-to-back goals by Brady Wicklund midway through the second period made it 3-0 and all but finished the Wolves.
Wicklund had a hand in three Broncos goals while Kian Gonzales had three assists.
Simon Palm added a goal and two assists for the winners, with teammates Jake Erickson and Justin Bech adding two assists each.
Ely goaltender Chase Sandberg was peppered most of the night and finished with 48 saves.
Saturday’s game was a tighter affair, with Austin Meskill’s first period goal getting the Wolves on the board and making it a 2-1 game.
Gunnar Ferrier gave the Bears a two-goal lead before the end of the frame, and the visitors maintained their edge.
Senior Nick Mattila had a second-period tally for the Wolves while junior Luke Olson scored twice on the power play in the final period.
Mattila and Schreffler had two assists each for the Wolves, and goaltenders Sandberg and Tyler Housey combined for 20 saves.
Ferrier had four goals to pace Lake of the Woods, which beat Ely 9-4 at Baudette earlier in the season.
The Wolves hosted Bagley Friday night and have a long two-game road swing coming up.
Ely plays at May-Port (N.D.) on Jan. 18 and is at Red Lake Falls the following day.
Both are rematches from earlier games, with the Wolves dropping a one-goal decision to May-Port last month and beating Red Lake Falls 8-6 in the holiday tournament.