Even when its players had to go to the penalty box, that mere fact didn’t stop the Waldorf hockey team from playing exceptionally well Friday night.
With his team trying to kill off a 5-on-4 penalty late in the second period, Ryan Veillet highlighted that fact with a shorthanded goal to put his team into the game.
Unfortunately, it was enough as host Aquinas (18-10-1, 11-2 NSAA) took a 3-0 lead and held on to top the Warriors, 6-1, in NAIA hockey.
Veillet blocked a shot right near the faceoff circle and then received the puck in the neutral zone on a 2-on-2 the other way.
With the puck now in his possession, the junior from Langley, British Columbia, performed a picture-perfect toe drag to get past defenseman Austin Kuch, then beat Saints goalie Nick Ottenbacher to cut the deficit to 3-1.
The score remained there into the third period, and with Warriors starting goalie Jeffrey Veitch making big save after big save in the first two periods, it looked like Waldorf (5-13 overall, 2-9 NAIA) could pull off a stunning come-from-behind win.
However, the Saints (18-10-1, 11-2) scoring three in the final stanza to finish off the conference victory.
The Warriors look to avenge Friday’s loss when the two teams face-off again today in Michigan at 5:30 p.m.