ANDOVER — The Brainerd Warriors, who had won four straight games and outscored those four opponents 27-2, had their win streaked snapped as they lost 5-3 to Anoka Wednesday.
“It was a quick and physical game,” said Warriors head coach Todd Person. “Our players gave everything they had tonight.”
Devin Annable tied the game in the first period with two rapid-fire goals after Anoka jumped to a two-goal lead early. Brock Saatzer scored a goal in the third period, but a wiped off Warriors goal left Brainerd behind at the buzzer.
“The Anoka surface is really small without any walls on the sides, which is difficult for us,” said Person. “We practiced on a short surface to prepare for this game, but it’s tough for our team to adjust. We did show improvement over last year when we were beat 9-1 on their floor. Our team has also shown that we can beat them on a bigger faster surface.”
Warriors goalie Harlee Annable saved 31 shots.
“Harlee had another great game for us and made several stops to keep the score as close as it was,” said Person. “By keeping the loss to a two-goal margin it gives us the advantage over Anoka for the postseason seeding (we beat them 4-1 on our floor), which can give us a first-round bye.”
Anoka 2 2 1 - 5
Brainerd 2 0 1 - 3
First period: A-Joey Manion (Eric Santa) 11:33, A-Eric Santa (Chris Whalen, Joey Manion) 12:33, B-Devin Annable 12:52, B - Devin Annable 13:44.
Second period: A-Eric Santa 5:56, A-Eric Santa 9:27.
Third period: B-Brock Saatzer 10:17, A-Corey Gieske (Tyler Ezell) 14:06.
Shots on goal: Brd 19, A 36
Goalies: Brd-Harlee Annable (31 saves); A-Ben Schmitz (16 saves)
Overall: Brd 5-2-0. Next: Brainerd hosts Robbinsdale/Hopkins 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.