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Jan. 14—WORTHINGTON — Worthington High School boys hockey goalkeeper Steven Adams recorded his first shutout on Thursday, and it wasn't easy. Stopping 31 shots from the Waseca Bluejays, he helped his team produce its seventh victory against four losses with a 5-0 win.
The Bluejays gave up a goal inside the first minute of the first period, but they were aggressive on offense after that. Adams and his teammates had to be constantly on guard, and they were.
"They came out pretty fast," said Adams, a senior. "I stayed focused in every period. My teammates were loud, and they were there. ... I can't be the one making any mistakes, because those lead to goals."
Adams has shared goalkeeping duties with fellow senior Matthew Becker this season, but on Thursday it was Adams' day. With help from his teammates, he was able to keep Waseca's prolific goal scorer, senior forward Kyle Ahlschlager, scoreless.
"At all times I have to be looking around the ice, even when the puck is in the corner," Adams said. "Even when I lose energy I gotta keep going. There's nothing I can ever do to let up."
It was an all-around solid performance by the Trojans, indeed.
With 16:22 showing on the game clock, senior forward Alec Langerud scored Worthington's first goal, with an assist from senior Konner Honius. Waseca was not impressed, however, and put two strong shots on Adams in the first four minutes — all of them repulsed by Adams. He had seven saves in the first five minutes and had 12 by the end of the first period.
With 23.9 seconds remaining in the first, as Honius did the work to get the puck into the scoring area, Easton Newman got the goal, and again Honius had an assist.
Worthington scored the only goal of the second period on a close-in goal by Jan Bumgardner, and the ever-present Honius had the assist.
Two more WHS goals tickled the net in the third. Honius scored an unassisted goal at the 15:54 mark, then it was Blake Luinenburg scoring from 20 feet out on a power play at 3:38. Langerud was credited with the assist.
It was Worthington's first game since the school shut down from Friday to Tuesday for coronavirus protection.
"The boys played good. They played hard tonight," said head coach Tyler Nienkerk. "We had a little break with the shutdown. We wanted to play fast, and we did that.
"When we needed to check it deep, we did, and we forechecked hard. We used our speed and controlled the puck, and that's when we're at our best," continued the coach.
He called Adams' performance outstanding, and he credited the rest of the Trojans, too.
"Steven played a phenomenal game. I think Steven's always been ready to take over a game. And tonight he really put it all together. And credit the defense playing great. They didn't let a lot of second chances in front of the net," Nienkerk explained.
Worthington out-shot Waseca (3-8-1) 34-31 for the game.
Both the WHS girls and boys teams are scheduled to be in action on Saturday in Worthington, with the girls playing at 1 p.m. and the boys at 3 p.m. Friday's scheduled home game between Breckenridge/Wahpeton and the Trojan girls has been postponed due to the threat of snow.
Waseca 0 0 0 — 0
Worthington 2 1 2 — 5