ROSEAU — “It was a short four-and-a-half-hour bus ride home.”
So said Brainerd Warriors head coach Jim Archibald of the ride home after the Warriors’ 5-1 victory over the Roseau Rams during Saturday’s Section 8-2A matchup.
It was Brainerd’s first-ever win in Roseau and only its second against the Rams in school history. The only other win came during the 2009-10 season.
“This gives our guys a lot of confidence,” said Archibald. “Hopefully they now understand that they can beat anybody at any time in any arena.”
Brainerd led 1-0 after the first period on a goal by Griffin Campbell assisted by Isaac Johnson. The Rams’ Alex Strand tied the score 1-1 heading into the final period.
Cole Smith found the net for Brainerd six minutes into the final stanza and the Warriors received a goal from Matt Pohlkamp and a pair from Mitchell McLain in the final four- and-a-half minutes.
“In the last period, I think our conditioning came into play,” said Archibald. “Roseau looked a little tired and our guys kept their feet moving and that resulted in our opportunities.
“We played well in the first, but our second period wasn’t up to our standard. We had a little discussion after the second and they came out in the third and obviously showed that we were the better team.”
Jared Stearns turned away 35 shots as Roseau outshot Brainerd 36-30.
“Jared played his best game of the year,” Archibald said. “There are times when your goaltender has to give you the opportunity to win and that’s exactly what Jared did for us.”
Brainerd (15-3) has won four straight, six of its last seven and hosts Alexandria 7 p.m. Thursday.
Roseau 0 1 0 — 1
Brainerd 1 0 4 — 5
First period: Brd-Griffin Campbell (Isaac Johnson) 15:55
Second period: R-Alex Strand (Tanner Okeson, Justin Anderson) 8:57
Third period: Brd-Cole Smith (Matt Pohlkamp) 6:13, Brd-Pohlkamp (Gaven Motscenbacher) 12:38, Brd-Mitchell McLain 14:29, Brd-McLain (Pohlkamp) 15:43
Shots on goal: Brd 30, R 36
Goalies: Brd-Jared Stearns (35 saves); R-Mike Tangen (25 saves)
Overall: Brd 15-3. Next: Brainerd hosts Alexandria 7 p.m. Thursday.