BOYS HOCKEY PLAYOFFS
Despite a regular season where the team won only three games, the Moose Lake Area boys' hockey team can make a claim that about half the teams in the state can't make.
They've won a playoff game, which is when the wins matter the most.
Mike Knezevich's goal at 7:42 of the second overtime period lifted the Rebels (4-22-0) to a 5-4 win over Becker/Big Lake in a Section 5A play-in game at Princeton Ice Arena on Tuesday night.
The Rebels had lost twice to Becker in the regular season, including 6-0 in a Feb. 2 game, but rebounded to win the game that mattered the most.
Becker's Aubrey Hartfiel started a big night with an unassisted goal 2:26 into the game, but MLA came back to lead 2-1 at the break after goals from Mark Fossum and Wyatt Lampel 52 seconds apart later in the period.
Weston Schug tied the game for Becker at 2:06 of the second period but the Rebels expanded their lead thanks to goals from Fossum and Forest Jendro for a 4-2 lead after two periods.
That left the Rebels to face Becker's best shot in the third period, and Hartfiel completed his hat trick by scoring at 11:05 and 12:43 of the third period to force overtime.
The Rebels outshot Becker 8-4 in the first overtime and that set the stage for Knezevich's heroics in the second extra session.
The play-in game win means the Rebels now face the section's top seed, Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake (18-6-1) in Saturday's quarterfinals at Moose Sherritt Ice Arena in Monticello.
The Moose are led by Ben Ward (23-34-57) and Nick Zwack (20-26-46) on the scoring chart, with Tyler Klatt (15-6-1, 2.72, 3SO) expected to get the start in goal. Faceoff is 7 p.m.