Bears shut out Storm, 5-0

Eveleth-Gilbert goalie Noah Shuck successfully defends against an open shot from North Shore's Nate Bilben during the first period of Thursday night's game in Eveleth.

EVELETH — The Golden Bears outshot North Shore 15-2 in the opening period.

Despite the discrepancy, the Eveleth-Gilbert/Mesabi East and North Shore were tied 0-0 going to the second frame.

Bears head coach Jeff Torrel was quite pleased with what he saw, even though his team didn’t light the lamp.

“I was more happy with our defense. We didn’t give up anything. That’s more important to me than shots. If we can suffocate teams like that, that’s how we want to play. Only giving up two shots, they barely got in our zone. Those are the kinds of things we want to see from our team.’’

Eveleth-Gilbert/Mesabi East became more offensive in the second period, scoring three times as they continued to dominate the Storm.

Cole Meyer got things going with a goal 6:10 into the second, while Brandon Lind made it 2-0 at 8:23 and Elliot Van Orsdel netted the third score at the 14:22 mark.

Torrel wasn’t overly concerned when the first-period shots weren’t going in, but his team still made some adjustments.

“You have to keep battling, you have to keep getting bodies to the net when you’re getting shots like that,’’ the head coach said. “They have a good goaltender. If you’re not getting bodies on net and not moving him around, he’ll tend to stop a lot. In the 2nd and third, we got more bodies to the net, more traffic, moved him around a little bit and it went in.’’

Ahead 3-0 heading to the third period, the Bears continue to put the pressure on. Van Orsdel eventually found the back of the net at 4:03 for a 4-0 advantage.

Eight minutes later, Lind closed out the scoring for a 5-0 Eveleth-Gilbert/Mesabi East victory.

Torrel again credited the all-around defense for shutting down North Shore all night long.

“It wasn’t just the defensemen. It was from our goaltender out. Our goaltender, our defensemen, our forwards. Everyone battled hard tonight,’’ which was good to see from all four units.

Overall, the head coach was happy with what he saw on the ice Thursday.

“It was a good night tonight. We’ll see tomorrow (against St. Thomas Academy). Tomorrow will be a tougher test with a double A team coming in. It will be a good contest to get us thinking faster, moving faster, having to move faster. So that will be a good game entering next week and the playoffs.’’

The Golden Bears (16-8) host St. Thomas Academy at 6 p.m. today and International Falls at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the Section 7A Tournament.

North Shore 0 0 0 — 0

Eveleth-Gilbert/ME 0 3 2 — 5

Second period: 1, EGME, Cole Meyer (Bryce Kopp, Elliot Van Orsdel), 6:10; 2, EGME, Brandon Lind (Tommy Schlotec), 8:23; 3, EGME, Van Orsdel (Kopp), 14:22.

Third period: 4, EGME, Van Orsdel (Hunter Levander, Gavin Skelton), 4:03; 5, EGME, Lind (Schlotec, Cooper Mattson), 12:36.

Saves: Noah Shuck, EGME, 2-10-5—17; Connor Sullivan, NS, 15-14-13—42.

Penalties: EGME, 2-for-4 minutes; NS, 3-for-6 minutes.

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