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Northstar U18 Knights score four goals in the final frame to defeat the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals 7-3

The Northstar Christian Academy Knights scored four goals in the third period to earn a 7-3 win in its first of three games on the weekend.

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Members of the Northstar Christian Academy hockey team celebrate one on Dylan Cook's goals in a game against the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals on Jan. 28, 2022. Cook finished with two goals and one assist in a 7-3 Northstar win.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA -The Northstar Christian Academy Knights U16 and U18 teams are hosting a special weekend of games in Alexandria that serves as a way to honor the local fire and police department.

This weekend’s games at the Northstar Sports Complex are part of a fundraiser that will take place with Knights players wearing special jerseys honoring the Alexandria fire and police departments. Those jerseys will be auctioned off as part of an online auction that will raise funds for both local departments.

“We love our community and are thankful for the police department and the fire department,” Northstar U18 associate head coach Dallas Steward said. “We've had these jerseys created that we're going to represent (wear) all weekend to try to show that (love) to the department but also to the community that is here. Any funds and financial money that we get through the auction for the jerseys will go back to those departments to show how much we are thankful for their service to protect us and take care of us in this community and know how much they mean to us.”

Wearing fire department-themed jerseys, the U18 Knights defeated the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals 7-3.

The Knights and Jr. Admirals traded blows in the first and second frame with the score being tied at the end of each period (1-1 at the end of the first, 3-3 at the end of the second).


The Knights jumped on the Admirals early in the final frame, scoring two goals in 33 seconds, and never looked back.

“We went into the third-period mentality, we just got to break them and just start right away,” Forward Dylan Cook said.

Forward Caleb Elfering found the back of the net on a power play just seconds into the final frame. Forward Cody Croal had the assist. Moments after Elfering’s goal, Croal had a goal of his own off of an assist from Elfering.

Northstar's Cody Croal skates during a game on Jan. 27, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

“We got the power play going in the third period and it (momentum) just started with a quick goal,” Cook said about the hot start in the final frame. “Our mentality here at Northstar is to break down teams. Starting with that one goal, that kind of just put the wind out of their sails.”

Northstar kept the scoring going in the third frame with a goal from forward Reece Laubach off an assist from Brady Jones (14:25).

Knight defender Nathan Mulder delivered the game's final goal with 7:54 remaining. Laubach and forward Jaxon Grosdidier had the assist.

Cook is one of the Knights' best goal scorers all season and that continued on Friday. Cook had two goals, one in the first period on an assist from Croal and defender Brian Morse, while the other goal came midway through the second period.

“I think as of late, being around the net has obviously been a really good thing for me," Cook said. “Obviously, I play with a really good line and I have a lot of really good teammates that give me good passes. So just having good linemen that feed me in the pockets which is always nice."


Northstar's Dylan Cook (15 in black) waits by the net for a pass from a teammate in a game on Jan. 27, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The Princeton, Minnesota, native is third among Knights in goals with 26, behind Croal (34) and Laubach (36).

Rounding out the scoring for the Knights, Jones found the back of the net early in the second frame to put the Knights ahead 2-1. Cook and Laubach had the assist.

In the last eight out of 10 games, the Knights scored at least five goals. The Knights have scored 245 goals this season and average 5.56 goals a game.

The offense is one of the reasons why the Knights are ranked No. 3 in the Midget Major rankings and are contenders for the Dixon Cup in their division of the North American Prep Hockey League.

Northstar's defense showed out in the third period, holding the Jr. Admirals scoreless in the 20 minutes of play.

“Between the second and third (frame) we into the locker room and just wanted to clean up a few things that we felt we needed to work on,” Steward said. “We just turned over pucks in the neutral zone that gave up some odd-man rushes that gave them scoring chances (in the first two frames).

Steward said the better defensive play in the final frame was a result of a combination of different elements coming together.

“Our forwards protected the puck on entry so they didn't have a play carried in and they made a deposit in those deposits,” Steward said. “We created a good forecheck where we did a better job of forcing turnovers within those situations if we didn't have a play but we also created some rush offense that scored some goals as well or power play scored a couple of goals. So there were a lot of contributions in those categories.”


C.J. Kier, out of Parker, Colorado, earned the win in net for the Knights and finished with 15 saves.

Northstar goalie C.J. Kier prepares for a shot in a game on Jan. 28, 2022, against the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals. Northstar defeated Milwaukee 7-3.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The Knights put 30 shots on goal while the Jr. Admirals put 18 on goal.

The Knights have allowed 81 goals this season and give up 1.88 goals a game. With Friday’s win, the Knights improved to 38-5-1 this season.

The Knights have a quick turnaround with a game against the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Knights cap off the weekend with a game against the Sioux Falls Power at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

“With our team, I think the biggest thing is to enjoy the win, sleep on it, then turn the page,” Steward said. “You get up and get excited to play another hockey game, compete against a worthy opponent, and bring the hardhat and mentality that we hope to teach these young men here at Northstar. And play with integrity, character and play with passion for the game we all love.”

JANUARY 29 - Noon - U16 Knights vs. MJA; 2:30 p.m. - U16 SF vs. RMR; 5 p.m. - U18 Knights vs. RMR; 7:30 p.m. - U18 SF vs. MJA

JANUARY 30 - 8 a.m. - U16 MJA vs. RMR; 10:30 a.m. - U18 MJA vs. RMR; 1 p.m. - U16 Knights vs. SF; 3:30 p.m. - U18 Knights vs. SF

ONLINE AUCTION: To view the online auction that will benefit the Alexandria fire and police departments, visit https://web.dashapp.io/auctions/knightshockey . More items are added as they come in. The auction opened on Jan. 23 and closes at 5 p.m. on Jan. 30.

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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