The Steele County Blades junior hockey team swept three games over the weekend heading into a team break. The Blades beat the Dells Ducks 5-0 on Friday, November 8 and 2-1 the next night, both at Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna. They capped the weekend with a 6-5 victory in Rochester. The Blades next game is Saturday, November 23 in Isanti against the Rum River Mallards.

In the Friday game versus the Ducks, fans got plenty of chances to use the cowbells that were handed out by the team. Danila Besedin (Moscow) opened the scoring 1:14 into the first period for his seventh goal of the season. He added two assists on the night.

After Timur Gavrilovich (Belarus) scored his first goal of the season late in the second period, Jake Freise (Evanston, IL) converted a penalty shot for a 3-0 Steele County lead. Roni Huovila (Oulu, Finland) and Connor Lee (Sydney, Australia) scored in the third period giving the Blades five goals from players from five different countries in the 5-0 win. George Maguire (St. Paul) stopped all 27 shots for the shutout victory.

Saturday fans brought stuffed animals to throw on the ice after the Blades first goal. That came 2:26 into the second period as Umar Kurbanov (Moscow) notched his first of the season. The toys will go to a local charity. Gavrilovich put the Blades up for good later in the middle period as Steele County prevailed 2-1. Maguire stopped 43 of 44 shots for the win.

Sunday's game at the Rochester Vipers was a high-scoring, back-and-fourth affair with the Blades spending most of the game up a goal. The Vipers took a brief lead in the third. Seva Bannikov (Belarus) scored the game winner with under seven minutes to go. Gavrilovich and Ethan Tarver (Gillette, WY) assisted. Lee and Besedin each scored twice and Maguire picked up his third win of the weekend.

The next home game for the Blades is Sunday, December 8 against the Minnesota Blue Ox.


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