Michael Bitzer had the kind of day when you find a withered twenty in the dryer, hit all the green lights on the commute and get the front row spot at the grocery store.
The Moorhead goaltender stopped all 34 shots Eagan players fired at him Thursday in the Spuds’ 4-0 Class 2A quarterfinal upset victory over the No. 3 seed Wildcats.
“The “D” played really well in front of me and made it easy for me all night long,” said Bitzer, whom coach Dave Morinville called one of the shyest players on the team.
The goalie let his play do the talking.
Asked to describe a breakaway stop on Wildcats’ leading scorer Nick Kuchera to preserve a 0-0 tie midway through the second period, Bitzer said, “I just tried to come out and give myself a chance and luckily it landed between my pads.”
Morinville sat back and enjoyed the show.
“We’ve seen it since he was in ninth grade on,” he said of the Frank Brimsek award finalist, given annually to the top senior goaltender in the state.
When he was a tad off, bounces still went his way. Late in the third, the puck hopped from behind the net into the goal mouth crease, where two Wildcats players stood ready to pounce.
Eagan still couldn’t score.
“We were snake bit,” Wildcats coach Mike Taylor said. “I thought we put some pretty good shots on net, had some good looks but couldn’t crack it.” Moorhead scored first 9:29 into the second when Jesse Doschadis mopped up a wrap-around chance by Cody Rahman. Logan Ness then scored a pair of goals 4:36 apart and assisted on the last goal with 4:25 to play.