What a difference a year and a little spark of confidence makes.
The Rochester Lourdes boys hockey team went winless a year ago, but its players ensured that the end of last season was the end of that drought.
The Eagles came from behind to win their first two games of this season, last week.
Saturday, they raised the bar for themselves in most impressive fashion, rallying from a two-goal deficit in the third period to stun state powerhouse St. Cloud Cathedral 6-4 at Graham Arena I.
The Eagles, trailing 4-2 with just more than 10 minutes remaining in the third period, mounted a methodic comeback.
Lourdes found some life with a Dawson McLaughlin power-play goal with 10:01 to go, cutting its deficit to 4-3. Just less than three minutes later, veteran forward Matt Mahoney scored his third goal of the season to tie the score 4-4.
Neither Mahoney nor the Eagles were satisfied with a tie, though. With just 3:50 to play, senior Henry Radke set up Mahoney again, this time for the game-winning goal, giving Lourdes a 5-4 lead. Then, with just 30 seconds to play, another veteran, Jack Kleinschmidt, sent the puck into an empty net for his second goal of the game and third of the season.
That sealed a most-impressive victory for the Eagles (3-0-0) against a Cathedral program that has reached the Class A state tournament in four of the past five seasons, including winning a state championship in 2019.
Also impressive for the Eagles on Saturday: They were backstopped by freshman Xander Carter-Kleven, who made his first varsity start and stopped 31 shots to earn the victory.
"An awesome win for our boys," an ecstatic first-year Lourdes head coach Jeff True said. "They just never quit and never gave up. We fell down, gave up a short-handed goal at the end of the second period which really took the wind out of our sails, but we battled back!"
Kleinschmidt finished with two goals and an assist, while Thomas York had one goal and one assist.
Lourdes is back in action Friday, when it hosts Minnehaha Academy at 7 p.m.
LOURDES 6, ST. CLOUD CATHEDRAL 4
Cathedral 1 2 1 — 4
Lourdes 2 0 4 — 6
St. Cloud Cathedral: Jacob Hirschfeld 1 goal, 2 assists; Cullen Hiltner 1 goal, 1 assist; Bradyn Balfanz 1 assist; Nolan Widman 1 goal; Marcus Hjort 1 goal. Goalie: Grant Martin 37 saves.
Lourdes: Thomas York 1 goal, 1 assist; Jack Kleinschmidt 2 goals, 1 assist; Jackson Heim 2 assists; Dawson McLaughlin 1 goal, 1 assist; Charlie Kielty 2 assists; Matt Mahoney 2 goals; Henry Radke 1 assist. Goalie: Xander Carter-Kleven 31 saves.