Patience is required when dealing with youth, and the Brainerd Warriors adapted floor hockey team is young.
With four new starters, including three first-year defenders, the Warriors' inexperience was exploited by the Robbinsdale-Hopkins-Mound-Westonka Robins Monday at Riverside Elementary School in Brainerd.
The Robins jumped to a 2-0 first period lead and never trailed. Ethan Brenna recorded four goals and three assists. Erin Nickell and Jesse Klein each tallied two goals for the Robins, who were coming off winning the Rochester season-opening tournament.
The Robins took advantage of Brainerd's inability to clear the puck from its zone. Three of R-H-M-W's goals were off rebounds near the net.
R-H-M-W 9, Warriors 3
Key: The Robins jumped to a 2-0 first period lead and never trailed.
Overall: Brd 0-1
Next: at Maple Grove, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"They are a veteran team and they did a really nice job of throwing the puck in the slot and in the crease area," said Warrior head coach Bruce Thompson. "Then they would just wait and look for rebounds. We did not do a good enough job of clearing our zone and making passes out of our zone. Too many times we were spectators. This is not a spectator sport. That just shows a little bit of our inexperience."
Brainerd's Tyler Theien scored Brainerd's first goal of the season to open the second period and cut R-H-M-W's lead to 2-1.
Theien scored again in the third. Both goals came from assists by Ethan Rudbeck. The junior center scored Brainerd's third and final goal to cut the Robins' lead to 6-3.
"We have to stay aggressive in our zone and be able to create things," said Thompson. "You have to get a shot on goal and then maybe get a rebound and another shot. You have to keep being aggressive in the goal area and good things will happen."
The Robins scored three goals to close the second period and three more to close the third period.
"We have to do a better job of basic skills like clearing our zone and making better passes," said Thompson. "We have to get some good shots on goal instead of just shooting at the goal."
R-H-M-W outshot Brainerd 12-11. In her first game in net, Anna Wahl tallied three saves for the Warriors.
"Anna and our goalies kept us in the game," said Thompson. "They did a pretty nice job. It could have been worse than 9-3."
Robbinsdale-Hopkins-M-W 2 3 4 - 9
Brainerd 0 1 2 - 3
First period - RHMW-Erin Nickell (Jesse Klein) 1:09, RHMW-Ethan Brenna (Steven Halsey) 7:55
Second period - Brd-Tyler Theien (Ethan Rudbeck) 5:54; RHMW-Klein (Halsey, Brenna) 10:06; RHMW-Halsey (Klein) 11:29; RHMW-Brenna (unassisted) 12:16
Third period - RHMW-Nickell (Brenna) 2:26; Brd-Theien (Rudbeck) 7:06; Brd-Rudbeck (unassisted) 7:59; RHMW-Brenna 8:54; RHMW-Klein (Brenna) 12:06; RHMW-Brenna 12:25
Shots on goal - Brd 4 3 4 - 11, RHMW 2 6 4 - 12
Goalies - Brd-Anna Wahl (3 saves); RHMW-James Sneltjes (8 saves)
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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