In the consolation game of the Joe Raymond Holiday Hockey Classic, the KMMO Lasers played the Brookfield Stars for third place in a Classic Eight Conference matchup. The Lasers fought till the end but could not top the Stars, finishing the game with a score of 3-2.
KMMO drove hard in the Brookfield zone for the majority of the first seven minutes of play, but the Stars cut a break when the puck flipped over the back of the net behind Lasers’ goaltender, Max LeClaire. Patrick McKnight was credited with the goal after the puck bobbled over the goal line to give Brookfield a one-goal lead.
A holding penalty on Brookfield’s captain, Robby Fosdick, gave the Lasers a chance to tie it up. While they couldn’t get past JJ Murnane in the first period, the advantage remained in KMMO’s favor for the first 20 seconds of play in the second.
The momentum stayed with the Lasers, and they kept firing at Murnane. A goal that was called off with about 10 minutes to play in the period fired KMMO up even more for the rest of the game.
Robbie Dembrowski headed to the box on a roughing penalty with 8:22 to play in the second, and allowed Brookfield to extend their lead to two. Riley Keays scored the powerplay goal with assists going to Robby Fosdick and Nate Mikelonis.
A pair of Brookfield penalties gave the Lasers another opportunity, but they couldn’t find the back of the net.
KMMO came out with added vigor in the third, Nick Bateson scoring just a minute and eight seconds into the period. Connor Freeman passed him the puck, which he shot from the lower right circle. The puck snuck through the 5-hole of Murnane to put the Lasers on the board.
The Stars retaliated, though, scoring just over three minutes later. Mikelonis took a shot at LeClaire, who deflected the puck to Fosdick’s stick. He proceeded to shoot the puck over the top of LeClaire for the goal. Justin Hill also earned a helper on the play.
Speed and intensity both increased as the period went on, and each team played a more aggressive game.
Bateson tightened the Stars’ lead to just one goal with a shot he tucked under an outstretched Murnane with 5:22 left to play. Alex Manske had passed Bateson the puck to earn the assist.
With a minute and 21 seconds to play, KMMO pulled LeClaire for an extra attacker, but the Stars held firm and did not let the Lasers score.
KMMO outshot Brookfield by almost double in each of the periods and kept the play in the Stars’ zone for the majority of the game, but Murnane stood strong and got the win and the third place title for the team.