It only took two games for the Eastside Freeze to get the monkey of its back securing a 21-11 win over the Lakeville Lumberjacks on Friday night at the Hastings Civic Arena.
The win tied the series one apiece against the Lumberjacks. Lakeville picked up a 10-7 win on July 21. Eastside’s focus this season will be executing on offense. It took awhile to get rolling, but this win proved that the Freeze have the offensive depth to really do damage against its opponent.
“The guys started to get into their groove, they started being more patient with the ball, found their opportunities and made them count,” head coach and general manager Luke Nelson said. “That allowed out defense to take breathers when needed.”
Forward Will McKinney led the offense for the Freeze with seven goals and three assists. McKinney scored three straight goals in the third period to help put the nail in the coffin for Eastside.
The Indiana Tech alum’s experience with box lacrosse is minimal, only playing in a handful of games. However, McKinney’s adapting well from field to box lacrosse, despite the differences of playing in a large open field compared to playing the game in a hockey rink.
“I’m a very fast downhill dodger, unfortunately that’s not very successful in box lacrosse,” McKinney said. “I really just need to focus on slowing down, not my mind, but my feet.”
Once again, the Freeze struck first with a goal from forward Clay Diedrich. His goal was one of 15 scored in the first period from both teams. Plenty of back and forth in terms of scoring through one, with goals from Giuseppe Palermo, Grant Glazier, Seth Noble, Diedrich and McKinney. Assists came from Joey Saba, Emmit MacFarlane, Jimmy Garay-Triviski, Sean Stallings, Noble and Palermo. The score was 9-6 after one.
After a barrage of goals in the first, both teams hunkered down on defense for a majority of the second. The Freeze scored two goals in the period, while Lakeville put three in to close out the period.
The Lumberjacks managed to crawl to a two-goal deficit (11-9). Saba scored the first goal of the period with assists from McKinney and MacFarlane. MacFarlane finished the game with eight assists. Noble scored the second goal of the period for Eastside.
The Freeze finished out the game on a 10-2 run in the third period to close out the game 21-11. Glazier and McKinney scored four goals apiece, while MacFarlane and Diedrich scored the other two.
Goalie Brandon Delyea faced 35 shots, brushed away 24 and managed an assist in the process. The Freeze peppered 53 shots on Lakeville’s goalkeeper. Eastside won the battle in the faceoff area. Palermo went 4 of 8 and Marcus Fiori dominated the X with 13 wins and six losses.
Eastside will travel to northeast Minneapolis on Sunday to battle the Minneapolis Wheat Kings (2-0) at 8 p.m.