LONG LAKE, Minn. -- Fifth-ranked Benilde-St. Margaret's scored twice in the game's first six minutes, including a short-handed goal, and used the fast start to rebound from Saturday's loss with a 6-2 win over #3A Orono.
With the win, the Red Knights moved into sole possession of first-place in the Metro West Conference. BSM has two games remaining in conference play. The team is scheduled to play at Chanhassen next Tuesday night in a game that will most likely determine the conference champion.
Ben Norris got the visitors on the scoreboard just two minutes, 29 seconds, into the opening frame as Caleb Koskie won an offensive zone face off to Nick Palmer at the left point.
Palmer's shot was saved but Norris collected the rebound in the left circle, circled back to the boards and slid a shot underneath goalie Brock Peyton.
That lead went to two goals three minutes later with BSM killing a penalty.
Wes Berg tipped a pass along the right-wing boards and Mason Minor was just outside the blue line to intercept the pass.
He dumped the puck on net as the Red Knights cleared the offensive zone and it slipped by Peyton for Minor's four goal of the season and his first career short-handed tally.
Michael Risteau's 13th goal of the season proved to be the game winner.
Orono finally got on the scoreboard with 9:57 to play in the opening frame, the first of his two goals on the night, but the Red Knights restored the two-goal lead entering the first intermission when Nick Palmer created a neutral-zone turnover and passed the puck to Ben Norris along the right wall.
Palmer raced up the middle while Michael Risteau broke into the zone on the left wing. Norris slid the puck to the middle when Palmer caught the pass and backhanded a pass to Risteau, who tipped the puck home.
A 24-10 shot advantage in the second period led to goals by Wes Berg and Caleb, the latter coming with 1:37 remaining in the period, to make it a 5-2 lead heading into the third period.
The third period was evenly played, with both teams recording 10 shots on goal, but BSM killed off a major penalty to start the period and, with 1:36 to play, Maceo Phillips found and empty net and finished the game's scoring.
Palmer's two assists in the game, coming on the game's first goal and on the game winner.
Mason McElroy stopped 25 shots in the game as BSM held a 49-27 advantage in shots on goal.
The Red Knights take a swing through Northern Minnesota this weekend as they travel to Hermantown to battle the defending Class A champions and second-ranked Hawks, Friday, at 7 p.m., at Hermantown Arena.
Saturday, BSM will travel west to face Grand Rapids in a game scheduled for a 2 p.m. faceoff at the IRA Civic Center.