Cody Croal Scores the Hat Trick in Vikings Season Opener


The North Branch boys hockey team played their first game of the year against Sauk Rapids-Rice.

Neither team scored in the 1st period. But both teams lit up the scoreboard in the 2nd period. The Storm scored first at the 1:30 mark. But Vikings junior Joey Kerchner tied it up just 18 seconds later. North Branch scored three more goals in the 2nd period: Cody Croal, Dawson Johnson, and Matt Dekanick. The Storm were able to add one more goal before the period ended, to make it a 4-2 game heading into the 3rd. Croal and Jordan Axberg would each add a goal in the 3rd to give the Vikings a commanding 6-2 lead. Sauk Rapids-Rice scored at the 12:49 mark to cut the lead in half. But Junior Cody Croal scored the final goal of the game, which gave him the hat trick. The Vikings beat the Storm 7-3.

The Vikings next matchup will be November 29th against Minnesota River. That game will be played in Inver Grove Heights at 5pm.

Photo Credit: North Branch Hockey Twitter

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