The varsity hockey team hosted their annual MLK tourney this weekend at South Metro Sports. A short bench and four games in 40 hours would certainly test their mettle and strength, but the Elks were up to the challenge.
In their opening game on Friday night, the Elks battled Elder to a scoreless tie after the first two periods. Just when it seemed the game was destined for a tie, the Elks were sent to the penalty box and Elder went to the power play in the final two minutes. Rather than hang their heads, the Elks bowed their backs and stunned the Panthers when freshman John Hall broke free and scored a short-handed goal to give the Elks a stunning, 1-0, lead with just 1:27 left in the game. The defense held u from there and the Elks celebrated a hard-fought, 1-0, victory.
Less than 12 hours later, the Elks were back on the ice against a powerful Northern Kentucky team with an 8:00 AM face-off. The Norse took advantage of the Elks tired legs and jumped to a commanding, 6-0, lead after the first period. The visitors added one more goal in the second and third period to skate off with an 8-0 victory.
Ten hours later, the Elks were back on the ice for game three, this time to face Troy in a 7:00 PM start, trying to punch their ticket to the finals the next morning. The two teams skated to a scoreless tie in the first period, heightening the pressure on each team as the game was down to thirty minutes to decide a winner and a berth in the finals. In the second period, the Elks dug deep and got two goals from senior captain Riley Hrin to take a 2-0 lead into the third period. They did not stop there as Hrin scored his third of the game for a hat trick and Hall added two to give the Elks a 5-0 win and send them to the finals where they would face a familiar foe, Northern Kentucky, on Sunday morning at 10:00 AM.
In the finals, the Norse once again shut the Elks out to earn the championship with a 5-0 win. It was a great effort by a group of young men who definitely earned some much needed rest following their grueling weekend.
Coming out of this tourney, the Elks now stand at 6-15-1 overall and 2-6 in league play. They return to action on Friday night at 7:30 when they once again face Northern Kentucky at South Metro.