The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Spartans victorious in heated section semifinal against rival Scots

Hockey is an aggressive sport, so much so that physical fighting is accounted for in the rules. However, last Thursday’s section quarterfinals between the Spartans and Highland and Central Scots saw an extreme level of aggressiveness. After two consecutive losses to the Scots, the Spartans, a co-op between SPA and Minnehaha, were motivated by their thirst for revenge. The heated match took place at Aldrich Arena, where, in the end, the Spartans walked away victorious, moving onto the semifinals in a controversial 2-0 score.

Goalie Isak Bildtsen, a key player responsible for the Spartans’ victory, headed into the game knowing it would be a toss-up but remaining confident.

“I feel like with a big rivalry like that our team usually rises to the occasion… you know what they say, it’s hard to beat a team three times in the season,” he said.

The first of three 17-minute periods began shortly after 7:30 p.m. Spectators were still flowing in slowly as the athletes took their starting positions. The match started slowly but steadily escalated as players inched closer and closer to the goals on each side. The Spartans began to take control of the game, and just five and a half minutes in, captain Henri Peltier made the fateful pass to Minnehaha teammate Jack De Haven. He shot, and he scored. By then, the student sections for each team had already filled to the brim, and the Spartan side erupted in cheer, chanting and waving various signs. The rest of the period passed, and though no significant plays were made, the game became more rowdy, with increasing quarrels on the ice and yells from the bleachers.

“There’s a ton of energy… the student sections are always chanting, which makes it fun on the ice. A lot of their players trash-talk me all the time, too. Especially when I’m down by their students section, but it adds to the game’s atmosphere and makes it more competitive,” Bildtsen said.

After a brief 10-minute intermission, the Scots and Spartans glided back onto the ice. The second period took off immediately, only building on the energy from the first. Although the Spartans continued to dominate the playing field, the Scots still managed to break through a few times, but Bildsten held out and acted like a wall in front of the goal.

Halfway through the period, the game-defining moment happened. After several successful passes, forward Ethan Peltier sent the puck flying through a mass of bodies, straight toward Scots’ goal. The distinct sound of a puck hitting the back post echoed on the ice, and the Spartans celebrated.

Unbeknownst to the team, the nearest referee had silently waved it off, failing to see a successful goal. While the Spartans celebrated, a Scot took the puck and took off toward the Spartans’ goal. Since Bildtsen, the goalie, was alone, the opposing player scored. The cheering of the Spartans died down and was replaced by the yells and chants of the Scots’ fans.

Meanwhile, athletes looked around, confused. The match paused momentarily while the referees decided what to do with what had happened. Eventually, they agreed that Peltier did, in fact, score a point, and the 1-1 score became 2-0.

I feel like with a big rivalry like that our team usually rises to the occasion… you know what they say, it’s hard to beat a team three times in the season.

— Isak Bildtsen

The Scots were furious, the Spartans were ecstatic, and the rink’s energy surged. In the remaining time of the period, the tensions escalated. The student sections recited vulgar chants and gestures while the athletes tripped, pushed and hit each other.

Many of the athletes on both teams had known each other for a long time, as many grew up playing together at the St. Paul Capitals Association. Since then, they have built friendships and bonds, creating a rivalry on the ice. Henri Peltier said, “When we get to play in a game like that, where it’s a good rivalry, it can get chippy, and there’s a lot of emotions going on, [especially] when the season is on the line.”

During the third and final period, the hostility only built. Excitement rushed through the players and the crowds. With their heightened senses, both side’s defenses were impenetrable, and the game ended 2-0 in favor of the Spartans.

“The [victory] meant that our season continued on, and it ended their season which felt good, even though we are friends with a lot of those guys,” Peltier said.

After advancing with their victory against the Scots, the Spartans took on Mahtomedi, reigning state champions, in the section semifinals this Monday. Ultimately, they lost, and Mahtomedi eliminated them from the playoffs. It was the last game for many seniors, such as Peliter and Bildsten, but they reflect on the lively season fondly and with gratitude.

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About the Contributor
Thomas Chen
Thomas Chen, Sports Editor
Hi, my name is Thomas Chen (he/him). I work as the Sports Editor for RubicOnline. This is my second year on staff. At school, I’m the Upper School Council treasurer and I'm also involved in the Asian Student Alliance. I love to figure skate and watch reality TV. I can be reached at [email protected].

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