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Steele County Blades Close Weekend with Shootout Victory

A tough weekend of hockey looked like it might end on a dismal note for the Steele County Blades junior team, but they pulled out a shootout victory over Ironwood (MI) Sunday to salvage one game out of three at the Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna. Kory Potach scored in round three of the shootout to lift the team to a 5-4 win.

The Blades started strong and led 3-1 after one period on a pair of goals by Kyle Wadden and one from Zach Bettmeng. Steele County extended the lead to 4-1 with a power play goal by Cody Arbelovsky early in the second frame.

The Yoopers began their comeback midway through the second with the second power-play goal from league-leading scorer Caleb Griffin and a steal-breakaway marker from Ryan Tanner with 19 seconds left in the second to make the score 4-3, Blades.

Ironwood evened the score with another power play goal, coming at 14:29 of the third by Zach Earl. The Yoopers dominated the five-minute, three-on-three overtime, but Blades’ net minder Vinny Capezza made numerous saves on point-blank chances.

Potach converted in the final round of the shootout for his fourth goal of the season.

The Blades lost 4-3 in overtime to Ironwood Saturday. Steele County rallied late in the third with goals from Kaleb Combs and Tristan Klewsaat to force the extra period. Griffin scored the winner at 1:43 of overtime.

Friday’s weekend opener went to the league-leading Minnesota Blue Ox 6-4. The Blades’ Wadden scored in the opening minute, but the Blue Ox answered less than 30 seconds later. The game was tied several times until the Blue Ox scored back-to-back goals late in the second period to lead 5-3. They extended the lead to 6-3 early in the third.

The Blades host Hudson (WI) Friday night and the Minnesota Mullets Sunday. Both games begin at 7:30PM at the Four Seasons Centre.

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