Owls roll past Rochester on 6-point weekend

Jacob Melwitz (27) adjusted to a Rochester Ice Hawks’ rush when the Owls racked up a 5-3 home win at Isanti Feb. 3. Melwitz had two assists against the Hawks then scored a goal in each game of the sweep at Dells. Photos by Greg Hunt

With just six games remaining in the regular season, the Minnesota Owls earned a playoff-calibre 5-3 victory over 2nd-place Rochester at home Feb. 3. They completed the weekend with a sweep at Dells for six big points which furthered separated them from 4th-place Hudson.

Against the Ice Hawks at home, Robert Erickson scored just 49 seconds into the game. Following a scrum between the Owls’ Trevor Morrin and Hawks’ Tyler Beasley, the game slowed in the Owls’ end after the team took a slew of penalties. Rochester cashed in on a 5-on-3 to tie the score, but goalie Brad Jerzewski (38 saves total) stood tall on several more chances in the period.

Brett Lucas’ goal had the Owls leading 2-1 after the second, and Erickson cashed in again four minutes into the third for a 3-1 edge. Kyle Johnson sandwiched a goal between two Ice Hawk scores, then Kolton Kahoot’s empty-netter with six seconds remaining iced the win.

With a great name to be playing for the MN Owls, wing Kolton Kahoot had 2 goals and 2 assists over the team’s three-victory weekend.

• Saturday night, the Owls opened the Dells Ducks series with a 4-1 victory. Down 1-0 after the first period, the Owls pulled ahead on second-period goals by Kahoot, Erickson and Sheldon Kihle, with Jacob Melwitz adding the lone goal of the third period. Jerzewski notched 29 more saves in the win.

Austin Campbell made 41 saves in the 3-0 shutout on Sunday afternoon. Kihle had the Owls up 1-0 on a score with 47 seconds left in the first. Melwitz and T.J. Belisle put away goals in the second period.

MN JR Hockey League

TC Northern Lights 36-4-1, 73 pts; Rochester Ice Hawks 31-8-2, 64; Minnesota Owls 24-15-3, 51; Hudson Crusaders 20-20-2, 42; Dells Ducks 19-18-3, 41; Edina Lakers 13-26-1, 27; Maple Grove Energy 1-38-2, 4.