ST. PETERS • On Wednesday night, Francis Howell Central forward Logan Oliver was honored on the video board at the St. Louis Blues game for being named the Mid-States Club Hockey Association player of the week.
On Friday night, his linemate Benjamin Wuori made it known that Oliver is not the Spartans' only offensive threat.
Wuori scored twice and added two assists to lead Howell Central to a 4-1 win over Francis Howell in a St. Charles Division showdown at the Rec-Plex.
Brett Robinson had a goal and an assist, Timmy Schmidt also scored, and Ethan Taplin made 19 saves for the Spartans, who improved to 7-4.
“It was a team effort,” Wuori said. “We all put in a lot of hard work and that led us to getting those goals.”
Isaac Poisson scored for Howell (5-3) and Stephen Tiemeyer and Drew Callaway combined for 22 saves.
Wuori gave Central a 1-0 lead just 1 minute, 40 seconds into the second period. Oliver took the initial shot and the rebound found Wuori at the side of the net, who slammed it home.
Schmidt’s seeing-eye wrister doubled the Spartans’ lead with 4:21 left in the second. Schmidt used a Howell defenseman as a partial screen and his shot found the upper-left corner.
Central made it 3-0 just 77 seconds later as Robinson found the puck amid a scrum in front of the net.
“I threw it to the net, it hit off Logan,” Robinson said. “I thought, ‘oh, he’s going to cover it,’ but it popped right out to me.”
Wuori’s second of the night capped a dominating second period for the Spartans. Wuori used his speed to get behind the Vikings’ defense to give Central a 4-0 lead with 1:01 left in the frame.
“I started on my backhand and I was trying to make the goalie think I was going to roof it with my backhand and I just pulled it to my forehand and tapped it in for an easy goal,” Wuori said.
The line of Oliver, Wuori and Robinson scored three of the Spartans' goals and combined for seven points.
“Logan leads that line with his talent and his effort,” Central coach Chris Wirtel. “Ben’s only a sophomore and Robinson’s only a sophomore as well. They just have a ton of talent.”
Poisson was finally able to crack Taplin, banging home a rebound to get Howell on the board at the 4:57 mark of the third period.
“You just can’t show up and win hockey games,” Howell coach Larry Bumb said. “You’ve got to come ready to work hard every shift of every period. Hopefully they learned that.”
Central outshot Howell 6-2 in a scoreless first period.
Tiemeyer made several saves for the Vikings during a Central two-man advantage that lasted 1:19. He also made a pair of saves on Wuori during an early rush.
Taplin wasn’t tested much, but he came up with a big save early in the period, slamming his pads shut as Howell’s Tanner Wyatt tried to go five-hole.
“We just kept them wide and that made it easy for me to see it,” Tapin said.
Tapin has missed a portion of the early part of the season traveling with his club team. His presence was definitely felt.
“He stood real tall tonight,” Wirtel said. “He was a leader back in the net. He did a good job getting the energy up, leading us out.”
Wirtel was happy with the effort.
“That’s a really good team we played tonight (that) can out work anybody on any given night and for the most part we outworked them and that was the difference in the game,” Wirtel said.