By Carlos Muoz May 8, 2006
Special to usahockey.com
The Mosinee Paper Makers had too much energy for an older, short-handed Edina Flyers club to match in the USAdult National Championship game on Sunday.
The Flyers, playing with 13 to 15 players averaging about 35 years old, lasted until midway through the title game, before succumbing to wary legs and losing to the Paper Makers, 5-2, at Blue Line Family Ice Center.
Edina opened scoring with a goal by Andy Campbell 3:38 into the game. But after playing on a smaller sheet of ice earlier in the tournament, the Flyers were caught off-guard by an Olympic sheet in the championship game.
Mosinees Mikhail Salienko, Todd Tretter and Craig Busse each scored goals in the first period to give the Paper Makers a 3-1 lead.
Mosinee added to its lead in the second period with a goal by Ryan Maxson on a pass from Troy Michalski to go ahead by three goals.
Edina ended its scoring drought 4:24 into the third period with a goal by Pat Martin that cut the gap to two goals.
The Flyers couldnt get any closer and Mosinees Maxson made it a three-goal lead again with a goal with 11:44 left to play.
The Paper Makers victory gave Wisconsin its first U.S. Adult champion since 1965 and it was Mosinees first championship.
The Paper Makers had the psychological edge after beating Edina, 11-2, in pool play.
We brought four lines out because we knew they were short (on players), Nechuta said. We just kept coming at them. We didnt let them gain any momentum. We tried not to make any mistakes in the offensive zone. We beat them pretty good in the first game, but we didnt take that for granted.
Maxson, who scored five goals in the first game, helped get the offense going. He said it was a matter of wearing the Flyers down and then picking the shot.
We just had all opportunities to wear them down, Maxson said. We could roll four lines and half way through the second period you could tell their goalie was tired.
Mosinees only downfall was seven penalties that they successfully killed.
It takes away from our offense, but were pretty good at penalty killing, Maxson said. Were definitely an aggressive penalty kill. Well take some chances.
Edina player/manager Erik Hendrickson said his team had age and injury against them. They lost a player the night before with a broken leg and one of their best players had prior commitments and needed to return to Minnesota.
Were a pretty old group of guys, Hendrickson said. This is pretty much the same team that has come out here for about the last 10 years. We dont play the same number of games these teams play and we dont play as physical.
An extended semifinal game against Detroit also wore on the Flyers, who managed to win in overtime to play in their second national championship game.
We didnt have a heck of a lot of players, so when you play an extra period it makes it tough, Hendrickson said.
Edina still managed to come out strong, scoring the first goal of the game. But conservative play got the best of them.
We were kind of pacing ourselves, said forward Pat Martin. The first period we were going two and a half lines and I was going every other. After that we went with three. We were just trying to pick our spots.
They had 19 guys, they were rolling four lines. It was tough, but we have no excuses — they were a good hockey team.
Hendrickson said, I think guy-for-guy on our team as far as the ability, I think were as good if not better than anybody. But they had four lines and they were scoring like crazy.
A bigger rink only made it easier for Mosinee, which was able to skate around the Flyers defense.
Grind it out, kind of dump and chase, play the body, Martin said. Thats kind of our deal. I like the smaller rink with a little more banging and created the loose puck.
We hadnt played on the big ice rink all weekend. After all those games and youre really tired, going on a sheet thats 15 feet wider against a team that is really fast, they basically scored their goals by outracing us.
Chris Bridgeman had 30 saves in goal for the Flyers, while Mosinees Brad Rieck saved 31 shots.
Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc.