SAUK RAPIDS, Minn. – After taking a shootout loss to their arch-rivals on Friday night and becoming the last unbeaten team to fall in the North American 3 Hockey League, there wasn’t much question of whether or not the Granite City Lumberjacks would step up their game in Saturday’s rematch against the Mason City Toros.
They did, and they got the result they wanted.
Granite City built a four-goal lead and let its special teams take care of capping the game on the way to a 6-1 win over the Toros, forcing the split in the weekend series. The win helped the Lumberjacks avoid their first back-to-back regular-season losses since March of 2021 and first weekend sweep at home since the North Iowa Bulls took the final two games of the 2019-20 season at Sports Arena East.
The first goal of the night was a nifty one, as Luke Delzer dragged the puck around three Mason City defenders before backhanding it into the net at the 8:20 mark of the period. Just six seconds after the end of the Lumberjacks’ first power play of the night, Coby Weber jammed in a rebound to make it a 2-0 game going to the second period.
The Lumberjacks got their chances in the middle stanza, out-shooting the Toros 15-7, but did not break onto the scoreboard again until the third period. Tucker Skime scored another rebound goal 3:31 into the third to extend the lead to 3-0, and Delzer used a deflection high in the zone to pop a shot over Connor Graham (Fort Wayne, Ind./Indy Jr. Fuel U18) and into the net just two minutes later for a 4-0 advantage.
Mason City got its chance at 6:57 of the period, when goaltender Ryan Lehet failed to smother a rebound off of a shot from Joe Potter (Crystal, Minn./Tampa Bay Juniors)- Hayden Siegel (Deerfield, Ill./Northern Cyclones) was waiting to pounce, and stuffed in the rebound to drop the Granite City lead to 4-1.
The Lumberjacks built the lead to five goals thanks to special-teams play, earning a power play goal on a one-timer from Dakota Lenz with 6:45 left and a shorthanded goal with 4:30 left on a drive down the left wing from Jack Louko.
Delzer’s two goals highlighted a night where six Lumberjacks finished with multi-point outings. Dominic Thomas, Jacob McPartland and Reed Hanus ended the night with two assists each.
Granite City posted 46 shots in the game, saddling Graham with the loss in a 40-save performance. He fell to 3-3 with the loss, while Lehet made 21 saves to earn his second win in as many weeks and move to 2-0.
The Lumberjacks scored on one of their six power play chances, moving to 8-0-0-1 in the process, while the Toros went 0-for-3 on the man-advantage and dropped to 4-4 for the year.
Mason City returns home to start a four-game stretch against the Alexandria Blizzard next Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game gets started at 7:10 p.m., while Saturday’s matinee gets underway at 3:10 p.m. at the Mason City Arena. Live streaming coverage of both games is available on HockeyTV.
To purchase advance tickets to any upcoming Mason City home game, click here. Updated news and information on Toros hockey are always available at www.masoncitytoros.com, and by following the team’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Mason City 0 0 1 – 1
Granite City 2 0 4 – 6
1st Period-1, Granite City, Delzer 4 (Lucio, Mortenson), 8:20. 2, Granite City, Weber 6 (McPartland, Hanus), 11:42. Penalties-hayden Mct (slashing-minor), 9:36; Mortenson Gcy (head contact-minor), 14:33; Widman Gcy (slashing-minor), 18:14; Christy Mct (roughing-minor), 18:40; Brennan Gcy (roughing-minor), 18:40.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Hogan Mct (tripping-minor), 1:55; Thomas Gcy (unsportsmanlike conduct-minor), 4:16; Levis III Mct (tripping-minor), 8:55; Barrington Mct (high sticking-minor), 14:35.
3rd Period-3, Granite City, Skime 2 (Thomas, Lenz), 3:31. 4, Granite City, Delzer 5 (McPartland, Hanus), 5:27. 5, Mason City, hayden 3 (Potter, Hogan), 6:57. 6, Granite City, Lenz 1 (Thomas, Skime), 13:15 (PP). 7, Granite City, Louko 2 (Johnson, Greeley), 15:30 (SH). Penalties-Hedland Mct (hooking-minor), 12:02; Widman Gcy (roughing-minor), 15:01; Larsen Mct (cross checking-minor), 17:46; Lukes Mct (roughing-double minor), 17:46; Lenz Gcy (roughing-double minor), 17:46.
Shots on Goal-Mason City 9-7-6-22. Granite City 17-15-14-46.
Power Play Opportunities-Mason City 0 / 4; Granite City 1 / 6.
Goalies-Mason City, Graham 2-3-0-0 (46 shots-40 saves). Granite City, Lehet 2-0-0-0 (22 shots-21 saves).
Linesmen-Conner Kuehn, Gavin Nieto.