BURNSVILLE— Senior Captain Gregg Sutton and his brother sophomore Todd Sutton scored hat tricks Thursday, December 1st as the Lakeville High School hockey team blasted its way to an impressive 14-1 victory over Prior Lake in the first game of the 1977-78 season.
The Panthers out hustled, out shot, out passed and out checked what appeared to be a fairly inept Prior Lake team enroute to their first victory of the season. Coach Jerry Moore’s starting line of center John Pieri, wingers Gregg and Todd Sutton and defenseman Captain Dale West and Rick Potter provided starting goalie sophomore Rob Laden all the support needed to clinch victory early.
According to Lakeville Times statistician Muscles Monahan, the Panthers outshot Prior Lake 14-4 in the first period, 20-3 in the second and 14-5 in the third for a game edge of 48 to 12.
Sophomore winger Jon Ackerman lifted the puck into the upper right of the net for the second goal of the night during the Panthers easy win.
A powerful fore-checking game from the Panthers kept the puck in the Prior Lake zone for nearly the entire game except for rare moments when the Lakers got lucky.
Todd Sutton opened the Panther scoring binge at 3:27 of the first period slamming the puck into the Laker ner past goalie Jim Hobson on a perfect feed from John Pieri. Ackerman scored the second goal of the period at 8:26 and Gregg Sutton score 49 seconds later to give Lakeville a 3-0 edge at the end of the first.
The dam gave away in front of the Laker net in the second period as the Panthers ripped home seven goals. Gregg Sutton scored at :46 and 8:10 to pick up his hat trick. Others scoring in the period were Todd Sutton, Jon Ackerman, John Pieri, and Captain Jeff Larson. Larson’s goal came at 12:37 while the Lakers were on the power play.
With Lakeville leading 9-0, chances for shutout were shattered when Prior Lake’s Mike Seguila slapped the puck between the legs of Laden at 11:48 of the second period of the power play goal.
In the third period, John Pieri raced in and scored with only 27 seconds having elapsed. Dale West tallied 74 seconds later. Twenty-one seconds later, Tom Emond scored on substitute goalie Troy Scott of Prior Lake.
Todd Sutton scored his third goal and final score for Lakeville at 4:30 on assists from John Pieri and Gregg Sutton. Lakeville senior goalie Mark Seurer relieved young Laden in the net during the third period.
“I was really pleased with the great effort the team gave against Prior Lake,” said Coach Jerry Moore, “The most important thing about this game was the unselfish team play given by everyone.”
Indeed. There were no puck hogs on the Lakeville team against Prior Lake. Passes were made often and with pin point accuracy. Laker skaters were continually confused by the aggressive and brilliant play of the Panthers.
It is also difficult to judge the quality of a team by just one game, but the Panthers seem to have a polished unit which should provide a most interesting season.
Sources: Lakeville Times, and Dakota County Tribune.
1977 Panthers team gets fired up for their Opening game vs. Prior Lake
Senior Captain Gregg Sutton from the 1977 season