The freshly minted line of Ricky Nelson, Nik Johnson and Henry Lechner scored six goals on Wednesday night to power Holy Angels past Rochester Lourdes 9-0 at the Richfield Ice Arena.
Nelson, a senior, scored three goals — one fewer than he had all of last season.
"He's one of the guys that we've been telling shooting to shoot more," Holy Angels coach Pat Griswold said about Nelson. "But he's a guy who can score 20 goals for us. And we need him to."
Lechner’s lone goal came off a nifty breakaway move and was the first of the freshman’s varsity career. Johnson, a senior, scored twice after notching six goals last season.
Playing with Nik and Henry is really easy," Nelson said about his linemates. "They're fast, easy to move the puck with."
The game was one of three to open the MSHL season.
Holy Angels led 2-0 after the opening period, and two of Lourdes’ best scoring chances came on partial breakaways early in the second. Stars senior Bryce Hess, a junior varsity goaltender for Edina last season, calmly stopped both of the Eagles’ Grade A chances and finished with 15 saves en route to the shutout in his first varsity start.
"I mean, you just pop one, make it a 3-1 game, a 2-1 game, something like that, and maybe you’re rolling a little bit," second-year Rochester Lourdes coach Jeff True said.
The Eagles had one of the biggest turnarounds in the state last season, going from an 0-26-0 mark in 2019-20 to last season's 11-6-1 record in True's debut behind the bench.
"I like playing against good competition," True said. "And this is arguably the best team we’ll see all season."
The Stars scored three goals in the second half of the second period then added four more in the third, forcing running time once they led by six goals.
Holy Angels played without senior forward Noah Hermanson and junior defenseman Jack Bartfield, both captains, because of injuries.
1. Ricky Nelson
An intense competitor who improved his game dramatically during the offseason, Nelson scored three goals - one less than he had in 19 games last season.
2. Bryce Hess
A junior varsity goaltender at Edina last season, Hess wasn’t tested often but made a handful of big-time saves to earn the shutout.
3. Henry Lechner
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound freshman who was a scoring phenom while playing at the Bantam A level for Bloomington Jefferson last season was impressive in his varsity debut, scoring a goal on a slick breakaway move and adding two assists.