Hats and a pair of shoes went flying over the glass and onto the ice to commemorate Bronson Shepherd's hat trick.
Later, the Brainerd junior right wing connected for his fourth goal and the Warriors trounced the Sartell Sabres 7-0 in Central Lakes Conference boys' hockey Tuesday night at Brainerd Area Civic Center.
Shepherd notched the first hat trick of his varsity career on a power play at 15:07 of the second period. His fourth goal with 10:05 remaining in the final period gave Brainerd a 6-0 edge and kicked running time into effect.
He tallied twice in an up-and-down-the-rink first period, shifting from backhand to forehand to score the game's initial goal. Later in the first he deked Sabres goalie Matt Goodmanson before burying his second goal during a 4-on-4 situation for a 3-0 Brainerd lead.
Bronson Shepherd scored four goals
Shepherd's linemates Joe Frazer and Julius Tamasy combined for five points as Brainerd improved to 12-6-1 overall.
"Tonight was just like the beginning of the year, how we were moving our feet," Shepherd said. "We were really clicking out there.
"Frazer is a hard little worker. 'Julio' just sets guys up. We have good chemistry all around."
On senior night 11 Warriors in their final season of varsity hockey demonstrated their chemistry. Goalie Landon Snider stopped all 17 shots he faced, many of which were difficult. The rest of the seniors combined for a goal and five assists.
"There definitely were some good chances that they had and Landon had to come up big," Warriors coach Ty Eigner said. "The nice thing is he looked solid. It was not like he was flopping around. He was ready when called on.
Landon Snider shut out Sartell
"They've been a good group," Eigner said of the seniors. "It was nice to be able to reward them, to get them all in there and they all played quite a bit. Our senior class has been real good, from Landon on out. It was fun to have as many as we have, give them all a chance to play and see them play well."
Brainerd played much better than it did Dec. 19 in a 6-5 victory at Sartell where the lead bounced back and forth. The Warriors outshot Sartell 36-17, were 2-for-4 on the power play and killed off four penalties.
"We just need to play the way we're capable of playing, that's all we're trying to do right now," Eigner said. "We can't do anything about the first game against Sartell, the loss against Fergus Falls, the loss against St. Cloud Tech. Those things are done and gone. All we can do is move forward.
"The kids are doing a good job of just trying to get better and understanding that we want to be playing our best on Feb. 20 when the playoffs start."
Warriors 7, Sartell 0
The key: Bronson Shepherd scored four goals and Landon Snider stopped all 17 Sabres shots
Conference: S 4-9-0, Brd 9-2-0
Overall: S 8-12-0, Brd 12-6-1
Next: Bemidji at Brainerd 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Additional goals for Brainerd were by junior Christian Engel, Tamasy (a sophomore) and senior Austin Shiltz. Senior defenseman Jared Hoppe had three assists and junior forward Tyler Monda collected two.
Sartell 0 0 0 - 0
Brainerd 3 2 2 - 7
First period: Brd-Bronson Shepherd (Drew Olson, Nick Jelacie) 3:47; Brd-Christian Engel (Sam Holland, Alex Korte) 10:05; Brd-Shepherd (Joe Frazer) 16:50
Second period: Brd-Julius Tamasy (Jared Hoppe, Shepherd) ppg 4:19; Brd-Shepherd (Hoppe, Frazer) ppg 15:07
Third period: Brd-Shepherd (Frazer, Monda) 6:55; Brd-Austin Shiltz (Hoppe, Monda) 8:28
Shots on goal: Sar 6-6-5-17, Brd 14-12-10-36
Goalies: Sar-Matt Goodmanson (29 saves), Brd-Landon Snider (17 saves)
Power-play opportunities: S 0-4, Brd 2-4
MIKE BIALKA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and at 855-5861.
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