The Upper Midwest Elite League season started last weekend with their first full slate of weekend games, and continued on Tuesday night in New Hope, Minnesota when Team Southeast took on Team Northeast, with Southeast prevailing 6-3.
It’s still early in the season, and that showed in the early stages of the game. There was lots of speed, but the crispness of puck movement wasn’t able to keep up, leading to some sloppy hockey, with only one goal in the first period, and both goalies shining.
Things opened up in the second period, with seven of the game’s nine goals coming in the final 12 minutes of the second frame. Northeast was able to erase a 3-1 deficit, tying the game at 3-3, but two goals by Southeast in the final 30 seconds of the period, including a buzzer-beater, gave them a commanding lead. Southeast capped the win with an insurance goal in the third period to complete the scoring.
Shots for the game finished 51-30 in favor of Southeast, with Southeast holding the edge in shots for all three periods. That was representative of the play on the ice, with Southeast applying the more consistent pressure.
John Mittelstadt, ‘01+,Eden Prairie(Minnesota)- Mittelstadt didn’t have a particularly notable rookie campaign last year with Eden Prairie and when he committed to Minnesota this summer, there was some feeling that he was kind of thrown in as a package deal to help get his younger brother Luke aboard at Minnesota. But he looked like a much different player here. He’s hit a growth spurt and gotten faster(similar to the transformation his older brother made, albeit a year later in the process), and the two breakaways he finished were super-smooth, big league type of plays, again, at least a little reminiscent of his older brother. He looks like he’s going to have a breakout year this year.
Joe Palodichuk, ‘03, Hill-Murray(Wisconsin)-I’m not as eager as NCAA coaches to hit up the kindergarten circuit, so I wasn’t overly familiar with Palodichuk prior to this, but was extremely impressed. An excellent skater that showed great assertiveness and smarts in jumping into the play. Unfortunately, he took a big hit early in the second period and left the game, but he was very impressive in the little he played.
Matthew Gleason, ‘01+, Cretin-Derham Hall(Uncommitted)-While everybody else seemed to be playing hot potato early in the game, Gleason was the one player with legit puck-handling skills and the ability to make skilled offensive plays. In the past, there have been concerns about size and skating ability, but he held up fine here, and it’s difficult to find his level of offensive skill.
8:36 Zachary Anderson from Nick Pierre 1-0 Southeast
Pierre took the puck behind the net and from the right corner fired a spinning pass to Anderson for a redirection into the net from the top of the crease.
12:00 John Mittelstadt from Rob Christy 2-0 Southeast
Christy forced a turnover in the neutral zone and fed a pass to Mittelstadt for a breakaway. Mittelstadt made a nice deke to his backhand for the goal.
11:43 Thomas Winges from Will Hillman and Ryan Peterson 2-1 Southeast
Hillman worked the puck out of the left corner to Winges at the left point. Winges took a high wrist shot into traffic that found the upper corner of the net.
11:03 Spencer Rudrud from Carter Batchelder 3-1 Southeast
Off a 3-on-2 rush, Rudrud took a shot from the mid-slot that bounced through for the goal.
3:59 Blake Mesenburg from Garrett Pinoniemi and Charlie Strobel 3-2 Southeast
Pinoniemi trailed the rush heading into the zone and picked up a loose puck that he fired from the right circle. It trickled through the goalie and Mesenburg was able to tap it in.
1:16 Blake Mesenburg from Nikolai Dulak and Charlie Strobel 3-3 tie
Dulak took the puck wide and deep down the right wing side on a 3-on-2 rush and then fed the puck out to Mesenburg in the low slot, which he jammed into the goal.
0:30 Brendan McFadden unassisted 4-3 Southeast
A turnover in the Northeast zone popped out to McFadden in the slot and his wrist shot beat the goalie.
0:01 Spencer Schneider from Carter Batchelder and Luke Mittelstadt 5-3 Southeast
In the closing seconds of the period, Schneider took a long shot from the left half-board that beat the goalie and the clock for the goal.
15:24 John Mittelstadt unassisted 6-3 Southeast
Mittelstadt stole a puck at the Northeast blue line and came in on a breakaway. He faked to his backhand and went top shelf for the goal.