By Joe Tischler Special to The Free Press
The Mankato Free Press
---- — MANKATO — It has been quite an impressive start for the Mankato West boys’ hockey team. Through three games, they have outscored their opponents 26-2 in Big Nine Conference home wins over Mankato East/Loyola, Austin, and Winona.
Faribault, another Big Nine foe, came to All Seasons Arena Tuesday night and that scoring trend continued as the Scarlets shutdown the Falcons 6-0.
West spent much of the first period in the Faribault end on the attack. Cole Filler nearly got the Scarlets on the board 3:30 into the game when a shot ricocheted off the post.
The Scarlets continued to put the pressure on Faribault goalie Chase Batchelder and finally got one by him at the 6:38 mark of the period when Christian Klemme fed Tyler Jutting with a beautiful cross-ice pass that Jutting blew by Batchelder for the 1-0 lead.
That was the first of five assists on the evening for Klemme who has filled in very nicely while West is suffering through some injuries.
“Christian has been playing really well; he’s stepped up big time,” said West coach Curtis Doell. “He’s played on our power play, he’s killing penalties, he’s playing regular shifts and he’s playing it well.”
West continued to put the pressure on in the second period. Max Mettler put in a rebound past Batchelder at the 5:17 mark giving West a 2-0 lead.
“What we’ve been working on lately is just getting the puck up to the d-men, just getting the puck on net, get the tips and rebounds and keep working the goalie until we finally put them in,” said junior forward Klemme.
The Scarlets went up 3-0 lead in the third when senior defensemen Scott McKissick scored from near the blue line off the assist from Klemme at the 15:30 mark.
West outshot Faribault 40-9 with junior Jake Spiess recording the shutout for the Scarlets.
“What we shoot for every game is to outwork our opponent,” said Doell. “When you outwork your opponent, you get opportunities to score goals.
“When you have a talented hockey team that’s talented enough to score those goals. If you’re working hard, those goals are going to come and that’s been evident in our first four games.”
Senior Isaac Weber added two late power-play goals along with another from Mettler to round out the scoring.
Filler had two assists and Weber added an assist to go along with his two goals. McKissick also had an assist.
West (4-0, 4-0 in Big Nine) next plays Thursday at Owatonna.