The Owatonna boys hockey team opened its season with a 6-4 loss to Apple Valley Friday night at the Four Seasons Centre. The Huskies built a 4-0 lead in the first period but the Eagles started their comeback with a goal just before intermission and controlled play in the second and third periods.

Nick Smith scored on Owatonna's first shot of the game at 1:06 with the assist from Mason Oland. Kenny Johnson scored his first varsity goal at 13:17 from Collin Pederson. Landon Thurnau and Luke Kubicek tallied goals 42 seconds apart for a 4-0 advantage. Owatonna scored on four of their six shots in the first period. Apple Valley limited the Huskies to six shots the rest of the night.

The Eagles started their comeback with a 4-on-3 power play goal with 15 seconds left in the first period. Owatonna limited Apple Valley to seven shots on net in the first thanks to a variety of blocked shots and tipped passes, plus a few near misses by some open Apple Valley players.The Eagles peppered Owatonna's Jacob Dub with 19 shots in the second while pulling within 6-3. The lopsided zone play continued in the third with a 13-1 shot advantage. Apple Valley tied the game at the 8:04 mark, went ahead at 9:57 and added an empty net marker at 16:33 for the 6-4 win.

Last season Owatonna lost 8-3 at Apple Valley to open the season and lost 3-1 to the Eagles during the Duluth tournament. Both teams are in the Heritage event again this season.

Owatonna (0-1) opens Big Nine play Thursday, December 7 hosting Albert Lea. Longtime Tigers coach Roy Nystrom retired after last season.

Roy Koenig/Townsquare Media
Roy Koenig/Townsquare Media