Dylan Steman's third goal coaxed one Maple Grove fan to toss a hat on the ice, but it was his second goal Thursday that wounded Blaine.

Steman powered a 6-3 Crimson victory with an unassisted second-period goal just 44 seconds after teammate Shane Wolden scored on the power play. The combination punches resulted in a 4-1 lead and the Bengals never recovered.

No. 4 Maple Grove (4-0-1) used three power-play goals and a shorthanded goal to take the first game of the season series from its Northwest Suburban Conference rivals on the road at Fogerty Ice Arena.

"When you get back-to-back goals, it kind of puts them on their heels," Steman said. "It's your opportunity to break them."

Blaine coach Dave Aus concurred.

"We just stood there and watched them score, and that was the back-breaker," Aus said. "But that's what good teams do, that's what we did to them in the playoffs last year."

Blaine eliminated Maple Grove the past two seasons in the Class 2A, Section 5 title game. Thursday's game gave the Crimson reason for hope.

"It's Blaine, it's a rivalry," Steman said. "We love playing them. It's early, we've got a long way to go and so do they, but it's a battle."

After showing good energy and puck possession in a scoreless first period, the Crimson got the better of a six-goal second period to post a 4-2 lead.

Notre Dame recruit Jordan Gross gave the Crimson a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 2:39 on an assist from Steman.

When No. 11 Blaine (2-1) appeared to gain momentum from Joey Lau's tying goal scored from a sharp angle, Steman gave it back to Maple Grove with a short-handed goal at 7:49. Then Wolden and Steman added quick goals.

"They were good tonight but we'll get better," Aus said.