It was a close battle between two conference and section rivals on a Saturday afternoon in Isanti. But thanks to a hat trick by Parker Sell and a late game winner by Peyton Smetana the Pine City Dragons came out victorious 6-5 over Cambridge-Isanti. The Dragons were defeated by the Bluejackets earlier in the season by the same score and were thrilled to get revenge this time around.
Right out of the gate in the first period the game looked it like it was going to be all Dragons. Pine City scored two goals in the first four minutes the first one by Mason Mikyska and the second one by McCoy Leger. The Bluejackets proved they weren't going to go down easy as Easton Parnell netted a goal just over a minute later to keep the Bluejackets in the game. Parker Sell for Pine City and Nathaniel Bauer for Cambridge-Isanti each added goals in the first period to send Pine City to the first intermission leading 3-2.
After a clean first period, the physicality picked up in the second period seeing special teams becoming critical. The teams combined for 14 penalty minutes in the second period alone. All three goals in the second period came when Cambridge-Isanti was on the power play. The Bluejackets gained an early second period lead when they want on a 5-on-3 advantage. Jake Brown scored a beautiful snipe from the point early in the two man advantage to give his team plenty of time left on the power play allowing Jacob Ziebarth to grab another power play goal and the team led 4-3. Late in the second period Pine City was on the penalty kill again and this time it was Parker Sell scoring on a great shorthanded opportunity that was a critical goal tying the game at four heading into the third and final period.
Parker Sell picked up right where he led off scoring first in the third period and finishing off a hat trick for the Dragon senior who is now up to seven goals on the season. Less than a minute later Gavin Ziebarth scored for the Bluejackets tying the game back up at five. The remainder of the game was a tight battle seeing both sides get chances and both teams fighting off power plays to keep the game tied at five goals a piece. Just about the time you thought the game was going into overtime Dragon senior Peyton Smetana took a pass from Parker Sell, skated around the Cambridge-Isanti defender, and put the puck away to give his team the much needed victory.
The Dragons improved to 4-5 on the season and will return home on Tuesday to host St. Francis. Cambridge-Isanti drops to 6-3 and will host Sauk Rapids-Rice on Tuesday.