Staff Writer The Gophers didn’t win the MacNaughton Cup outright this weekend, but that didn’t…
By Nick Hunter
Well-Balanced Effort Guides Chaska-Chanhassen Over Jefferson
VICTORIA, Minn. – Consistency is one of the most important components to a good team. While most teams struggle to maintain consistency, the Chaska-Chanhassen Bantam A team found another important formula to win hockey games. A good offensive attack, a strong defense that shuts down opponents and a goaltender that can stop the puck helped them Tuesday, downing Bloomington Jefferson 4-1 at Victoria West Arena in District 6 action.
Head coach Jon Jonasson said after the game he was really pleased with his team’s performance. “It was our first really good game coming together in a while. We try to teach our guys a lot of systems and tonight it work really well and we played a good game.”
Peter Tufto led the offensive attack for Chaska by notching a hat trick, while Jake Theis added a goal as well. Chaska clearly had momentum through a majority of the game making better passes and controlling play in both offensive and defensive zones.
Another key component to the victory was a penalty kill that didn’t allow a goal in five chances and slipping a puck in the net shorthanded. Jefferson struggled on the powerplay all night often mishandling the puck and making errant passes. The Jaguars only mustered about five shots on goal during the five extra-man opportunities.
Tufto opened the scoring four minutes into the first when he and Jared Davidson came into the Jefferson zone 2-on-1. Tufto slipped past the defender faked his forehand and lifted a backhand into the net to give Chaska an early 1-0 lead.
Tufto increased the lead to 2-0 when he carried the puck into the Jefferson zone, took the puck behind the net and wrapped around bodies into the slot and fired a wrister to the upper corner past Jaguar goalie Dennis Neuenfeldt.
Hard work on the penalty kill paid off for Chaska when Theis took the puck into the Jefferson zone and fired a shot from the right faceoff circle that beat Neuenfeldt to give Chaska a commanding 3-0 lead late in the second period.
For most of the third period the Chaska defenders shut down any opportunity Jefferson would get inside the zone. The Jaguars would eventually find the back of the net late in the third period but it proved too little, too late.
Jefferson pulled Neuenfeldt late trailing 3-1, but Tufto gained control of the puck and fired into an empty net from the blue line to complete the hat trick, sealing the victory for Chaska.
Chaska goaltender Miles Buska, coming off an injury that sidelined him for the past seven weeks, looked solid making several big stops to keep Jefferson off of the score sheet. Buska stopped 17 of 18 shots to earn the victory.
Chaska (13-16-5) hosts Burnsville Saturday at Victoria West Arena.