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Silver Bay beats Central despite suspensions

Silver Bay appeared to be in deep trouble Thursday night at the DECC. The Mariners have the potential to be a strong challenger in Section 7A this season, but a couple of key disciplinary suspensions put them in serious jeopardy for their game ag...

Silver Bay appeared to be in deep trouble Thursday night at the DECC. The Mariners have the potential to be a strong challenger in Section 7A this season, but a couple of key disciplinary suspensions put them in serious jeopardy for their game against Duluth Central.
Both teams had something in common, having both lost to Superior, but Central could have been in position to use its 3-2 loss to the Spartans on Tuesday as a positive springboard for its game against Silver Bay.
But the Mariners rose up to crack a 1-1 tie in the closing seconds of the second period, then blew away the Trojans 6-1 with four unanswered goals in the third period. Deven VanHouse scored the game's first and last goals, Nate Timm scored twice to take care of the tie, and Ales Toth -- a foreign exchange student from the Czech Republic -- had a goal and four assists for the Mariners.
Silver Bay coach Mike Guzzo, a strict disciplinarian, stood outside his team's dressing room both proud and relieved at how his Mariners had played. He paused to suggest to one player that he should turn his baseball cap around so the visor pointed forward, and he mentioned that another player should think about a haircut.
"We've got some rules," Guzzo said. "And we've got more rules this week, after what we've gone through."
The Mariners were playing without their top two centers, senior Andy Johnson, the team's top returning scorer, and junior Jake Solberg, who scored two goals against Superior. Both are out for a minimum of three weeks after being caught in violation of the Minnesota State High School League's rules against alcohol. That could have wiped out a large share of Silver Bay's offense, but Guzzo gathered his troops and got them focused.
In the first period, Silver Bay came out hard and pinned Central into its own end, outshooting the Trojans 15-2. But one goal, by sophomore VanHouse on a power-play slapshot from the right circle at 8:36 was the only missile to elude Trevor Burns in the Central goal.
"We were really quick in that first period," said Guzzo, whose Mariners outshot Central 31-13 for the game.
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Central got a lucky break early in the second period on a power play when Silver Bay defenseman Peter Redfled circled behind his own net and launched a penalty-killing clearing pass. But the puck struck Karl Reinke's skate, 5 feet away, and the ricochet caught junior goaltender Alex Conboy by complete surprise, tying the game 1-1.
That score stood, despite a continued lopsided edge in shots, until the final minute of the second period, because Burns stopped everything until a major penalty for high sticking left John McDonnell in the penalty box late in the second period, and in coach Adam Shykes' doghouse for the rest of the game. Timm beat Burns with a screened shot from the blue line at 14:31 on that power play.
After the second intermission, Toth, who was a soccer-style placekicker on the Cook County football powerhouse in the fall, put his considerable hockey talent on display. Toth stole the puck deep in the Central zone and fed the point, where Timm again scored at 0:21. The goals 29 seconds before the second period ended and 21 seconds after the third period began gave the Mariners a 3-1 lead.
Toth ripped in a power-play goal from the left circle at 5:26, and Charlie Byrnes scored with a rebound at the crease at 7:32, before VanHouse finished the scoring at 11:20, with ninth-grader Jesse Downey getting his second assist and Toth his fourth on the goal.
"We needed some kids to step up, and they've done it," Guzzo said. "The Czech kid has been awesome. He got four points against Two Harbors the other night, and he really gave us a lift tonight."

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