WATCH: No. 20 Moorhead rolls Buffalo in home opener

Moorhead's Kyler Kleven, Nolan Westra, Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe, Nick Searls and Luke Gramer celebrated a goal in Saturday's hockey game against Buffalo at Moorhead Sports Center. Photo by Rick Westra

MOORHEAD — Moorhead's boys hockey team is well aware most are picking the Spuds not to be in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 championship game.

The Spuds have played in the section championship game for 18 straight seasons. The Spuds also don't care what most people are picking.

"We have a little fire going right now and it's just adding to the fire," Moorhead senior left winger Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe said. "It's just fuel to the fire."

No. 20 Moorhead topped Buffalo 4-0 Saturday in the team's home opener at Moorhead Sports Center. The Spuds entered Saturday having lost in overtime to No. 4-ranked Andover and pummeled No. 12 Brainerd 5-1.


Brainerd and Roseau were picked as the favorites to win the section by most. Once again, Moorhead does not care about picks.

"We love to prove people wrong," Moorhead goalie Ethan Miller said. "It was great beating Brainerd and showing them that they're not going to win the section this year. I t sucks that people underestimate us, but after that Brainerd game and after that Andover game, I think we proved ourselves that we're a team that should be taken seriously and have a good run at the state this year."

Neither team cracked the scoreboard in the first period, as Buffalo's Nathan Mueller made 13 saves and Miller stopped all eight shots that came his way.

Moorhead's Ethan Miller makes a save in Saturday's hockey game against Buffalo at Moorhead Sports Center. Photo by Rick Westra

The Spuds had the better opportunities in the opening frame. Johnson and Gavin Fullmer had a 2-on-1 midway through the period, but Johnson's feed to Fullmer in the slot bounced and Fullmer couldn't get a shot on goal. The best look in the first came when Michael Overbo found Caden Triggs in the right circle with the Spuds on the power play. Mueller made a sprawling save, going post to post on the pass. Mueller stopped all 30 shots he saw in the first four periods of the season for Buffalo (1-1).

Moorhead got to him in the second period. Kyler Kleven found Henkemeyer-Howe on a 2-on-1 and Henkemeyer-Howe found the back of the net with 9 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the second.

"We work extremely hard, and we just need to keep getting better every day," Moorhead senior left winger Thomas Horan said.


Henkemeyer-Howe made it 2-0 just 35 seconds into the third. Nolan Westra redirected a Kleven pass and Henkemeyer-Howe tapped it in.

"If we work hard, we can compete with anyone in the state," Henkemeyer-Howe said.

Moorhead's Isaac-Henkemeyer-Howe scores a goal in Saturday's hockey game against Buffalo at Moorhead Sports Center. Photo by Rick Westra

Moorhead put the game away on a Buffalo power play in the third. Breakaway goals from Horan and Johnson gave the Spuds a duo of short-handed goals just 30 seconds apart. Johnson was able to find the back of the net on a breakaway despite being tripped along the way.

" I've been really impressed with how these kids work so far," Moorhead coach Jon Ammerman said. "In the third period especially it shows character that they have. Carter Johnson was caught twice, hauled down and still finds a way to score a goal."

With a 4-0 lead and 11:49 remaining, all that was left to do was keep Miller's shutout alive. The Spuds did that, as Miller stopped all 19 shots that came his way.

"We have a lot of kids that are very focused on working hard and aren't really concerned about who gets the credit," Ammerman said. "We have a few returners, who have had some success at the varsity level, but it's a lot of guys every night trying to prove themselves as full-time varsity guys and earn their minutes. That's fun to watch.


"From our goaltending to our new defensemen to nine to 10 of our forwards are new guys trying to prove that they're not only varsity players, but they're a pretty darn good hockey team too."

FIRST PERIOD: no scoring.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, M, Henkemeyer-Howe (Kleven), 7:50.

THIRD PERIOD: 2, M, Henkemeyer-Howe (Westra, Kleven), 0:35. 3, M, Horan, 4:41, sh. 4, M, Johnson, 5:11, sh.

SAVES: B, Mueller 13-8-10 —31 . M, Miller 8-6-5 —19 .

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