Freise Powers Blades to Victory
Steele County Blades veteran Jake Freise left his mark on Sunday's 6-3 win over Wisconsin Rapids at the Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna. Freise (Evanston, IL) scored a hat trick by netting even strength, power play and short-handed goals. He also added a pair of assists as the Blades ended a seven-game skid.
A day after getting behind the River Kings 3-0 by the end of the first period and losing 7-1, the Blades went up 1-0 midway through the first Sunday on a power play goal by Seva Bannikov (Minsk, Belarus). Connor Lee (Sydney, Australia) and Freise assisted. Later in the first, Steele County killed after a pair of Wisconsin Rapids power plays by blocking shots and clogging passing lanes.
Cobie Morrissey (Cedar Falls, IA) redirected a point shot by Umar Kurbanov (Moscow, Russia) for a 2-0 lead at 8:43 of the second period. Freise also assisted. He then scored his first goal of the game about two-and-a-half minutes later on a 2-on-1. Assists went to Morrissey and Ben Priebe (Waseca).
The River Kings got one back less than a minute later and the Blades lead was 3-1. Freise scored on a 5-on-3 player advantage with assists from Roni Huovila (Oulu, Finland) and Bannikov at 13:56. Ethan Tarver (Gillette, WY) scored his first goal with the Blades at 14:38 of the second, also on a power play. Priebe and Morrissey assisted to give Steele County a 5-1 lead. The River Kings trimmed it to 5-2 by the second intermission.
Freise's hat trick tally occurred early in the third period with the Blades killing a penalty. He finished off a sprint up the ice by slipping the puck around the back-checking player and leaping around the skater to get a one-on-none with the goalie. Priebe and William Christensen (Sandy, UT) assisted. Wisconsin Rapids scored in the final minute for the 6-3 final.
George Maguire (St. Paul) made 39 saves for the victory. The Blades were 6-for-6 on penalty kill and 3-for-4 on the power play. Steele County hosts games in Owatonna Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19 over MEA weekend