Facing a brutal stretch of games on its schedule, the Brainerd Warriors adapted floor hockey team thought if it was going to pull out a win it would have to be against the Hudson, Wis., Raiders.
The Warriors came close.
Brainerd and Hudson played to a 5-5 overtime tie Thursday at Riverside Elementary School in Brainerd's first overtime game of the season.
"We're playing such tough competition right now," Warriors coach Bruce Thompson said. "We just have to get the most out of our players. We've got what we've got and we're just going to try and make these players the best we can."
Chris Jordan started the Warriors on the right track in the first period as his shot from the blue line got past the Hudson defense, assisted by Eric Goodew.
But the Raiders' Tim McLaren, who scored all five Hudson goals, tallied the next two scores for a 2-1 lead with time running out in the first period.
Doug Ream, who notched four goals for Brainerd, knotted the game as his wrister found the back of the net. Again Goodew picked up the assist.
Hudson received a heavy dose of Ream in the second period as he put the Warriors up 4-2 with consecutive goals.
"Doug is our senior, he's our leader and captain," Thompson said. "He's just done a nice job throughout all these years. We really stress to our front line of working together and getting the puck to the open guy. We need shots on goal and Doug's provided that for us."
But McLaren put the Raiders within one with only three minutes left in the second.
After another McLaren goal tied the game, Ream gave the Warriors the lead again halfway through the third. But with just over more than two minutes left, McLaren scored again to send the game to overtime.
In the extra stanza, Hudson pounded the Warriors' defense with six shots on goal compared to Brainerd's one.
But, as she did for most of the game, Warriors goalie Ashley Demo stopped the Raiders cold. Demo made 13 saves and was a big reason the Warriors came away with a tie.
"Ashley played well and our chairs played well," said Thompson. "They covered the puck well when they had to and knocked stuff away when we had to."
With Humboldt, one of the best teams in the state, coming to town Saturday, Thompson knows his team will have to play it's best to have a chance.
"From a coach's perspective, we're in the meat of the schedule," Thompson said. "Talk about an uphill run. We're playing the best teams in the division. We just need to keep working hard and pick up our aggressiveness a little bit."
Hudson 2 1 2 0 -- 5
Brainerd 2 2 1 0 -- 5
First period -- 1, B-Chris Jordan (Eric Goodew) 4:46; 2, H-Tim McLaren (Justin Sylvara) 11:20; 3, H-McLaren 13:32; 4, B-Doug Ream (Goodew) 14:33.
Second period -- 5, B-Ream (Jordan) 7:46; 6, B-Ream (Goodew, Jordan) 12:02; 7, H-McLaren (Shane Lanphear) 11:49.
Third period -- 8, H-McLaren (Philip Dustin) 14:19; 9, B-Ream (Goodew) 7:42; 10, H-McLaren (Jason Tervo, Melissa Frazier) 12:52.
Shots on goal -- B 4-3-5-1 -- 13, H 12-8-10-6 -- 36.
Goalies -- B-Ashley Demo (13 saves), H (8 saves)
Power-play opportunities -- B 0-1, H 0-1.
Overall -- B 3-4-1. Next game -- Brainerd hosts St. Paul Humboldt 1 p.m. Saturday.
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