skip navigation

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

By Loren Nelson, 02/26/22, 11:15AM CST

Share

Blake duo of William Matzke and Carter Krenke offer different skillsets, produce similar results


Blake junior Carter Krenke leads the Bears in scoring with 38 points. Photo by Loren Nelson, LegacyHockeyPhotography.com

As hockey players, Blake forward William Matzke and Carter Krenke couldn’t be more different.

And, when performing at peak efficiency, more effective.

Think of the 5-foot-10, 150-pound Matzke as a 1960s muscle car packaged in breezers and shoulder pads. His quickness off the line is eye-blurring. His top speed borders on ludicrous. 

The 6-foot-6 Krenke is more of a jumbo jet draped in a blue and green Bears jersey. His wingspan stretches from here to eternity. And when Krenke has the puck and body position, good luck trying to get it away from him.

“When I go against him in practice I can't do anything,” said Matzke, a senior who leads No. 5 seed Blake against No. 1 seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s at 3 p.m. today in a Section 6AA semifinal at the Bloomington Ice Garden. “He just protects the puck and uses his body well. It’s impossible to get it away from him.”

Matzke and Krenke played key roles in Blake’s 5-1 section quarterfinal victory over No. 4 seed Holy Angels on Thursday. Matzke’s speed was noticeable from the start, and he twice wheeled around the Stars’ defense on early dashes to the net. The second time he used a head fake to freeze Holy Angels goaltender Bryce Hess, then skidded the puck into an empty net for a first-period goal that opened the scoring.

Matzke barely raised his arms after scoring — staying as emotionless as a paid assassin. Krenke, in contrast, looked as though he was throwing a frat party in the second period when he scored twice, both times throwing himself high against the glass as a raucous Blake student section went bonkers on the other side.

Krenke, flashing a piano-key grin, caught some serious air on his joyous leaps. While his vertical game appears strong, he says he’s never had time for much basketball. Hockey is the game he’s thrown all his time and energy into, and it’s shown.

“Yeah, hockey is a big part of my life,” Krenke said. “And I don't want to stop anytime soon. So the goal is to keep progressing.”

“He's improved every aspect of his game over the last several years,” Blake coach Rob McClanahan said. “We've seen the results of it. His upside is huge.”

Krenke leads the Bears with 21 goals and 38 points. Matzke’s goal was his 12th of the season. The Thunderbolt and Lightning duio (ode to the 1970s movie starring Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges) duo have been unleashed somewhat as of late as McClanahan has abandoned his favored weaving, regrouping, cycling offense for a more straightforward attack. A style that seems well suited for both Matzke’s wheels and Krenke’s smash-and-grab approach.

“It’s than the way I've had our teams play in the past,” said McClanahan, who led the Bears to the state Class 2A tournament in 2020. “It's a little, I don't want to say it's simpler, but it's just it's more north-south.”


Blake senior William Matzke, right, has 12 goals among his 22 points this season. Photo by Loren Nelson, LegacyHockeyPhotography.com

Latest News

  • Shadowed by Success

  • By Loren Nelson 05/14/2022, 3:00pm CDT
  • Mike Thomas has commanded respect, shared laughs while coaching state tournament teams for multiple programs
  • Read More
  • Earning their Wings

  • By Loren Nelson 04/28/2022, 1:30pm CDT
  • Coon Rapids players Austin Durkop, Tyler Barsness reach new heights at High Performance events
  • Read More
  • Fame in 41 Seconds

  • By Loren Nelson 04/21/2022, 3:45pm CDT
  • Hastings' remarkable 1999 state tourney comeback is an unforgettable moment in Russ Welch's coaching career
  • Read More
  • The Delano Destroyer

  • By Loren Nelson 04/07/2022, 8:15am CDT
  • Gophers star and nickname magnet Ben Meyers was an unstoppable force during his high school playing days
  • Read More

Tourney Time Teasers

  • O What a Relief

  • By David La Vaque 06/09/2020, 5:45pm CDT
  • Hill-Murray's Seamus Regan delighted father, brother by accomplishing what they couldn't
  • Read More
  • Danger Zone

  • By Loren Nelson 03/04/2020, 2:30pm CST
  • Goalies were once allowed to skate to opposite end — and did so at their own peril
  • Read More
  • The Heartbreak Kid

  • By David La Vaque 01/24/2020, 10:30am CST
  • Rob McClanahan and undefeated Mounds View dealt bitter state quarterfinal loss in 1976 by Steve Christoff and Richfield
  • Read More

The Full Nelson

  • Now You See It ...

  • By Loren Nelson 01/04/2022, 12:30pm CST
  • Houdini-like move by Andover's Cayden Casey joins list of greatest goals-gone-viral scored in recent history
  • Read More
  • The Real Hockeytown

  • By Loren Nelson 11/22/2021, 10:30pm CST
  • Season Primer: When Warroad plays, it's always a primetime event, especially in the Warriors' home town
  • Read More
  • Drama Kings

  • By Loren Nelson 11/18/2021, 12:45pm CST
  • Season Primer: The high school futures of Prior Lake stars Will Schumacher and Alex Bump were in doubt much of this fall
  • Read More
  • Law Aching

  • By Loren Nelson 03/24/2021, 1:00am CDT
  • Andover defenseman Kyle Law takes a beating in his two-way, high-danger role
  • Read More
  • Showtime Raiders

  • By Loren Nelson 03/20/2021, 3:30am CDT
  • Freewheeling Cretin-Derham Hall has top-seed credentials, plenty of doubters
  • Read More