BELOIT - Saturday's outcome was the sort that would have kept Kurt Buchs up at night in the past.
The Beloit Memorial head coach says he's mellowed a bit, though, and fully understands that along with a young team like the 2019-20 Purple Knights comes some growing pains.
"It's real early in the season and you can't lose your minds after the third game," Buchs said after the Cheesemakers handed the Knights a 6-3 loss in the championship game of the Thanksgiving Tournament at Edwards Ice Arena. "Give Monroe credit. They capitalized on our mistakes. But we're going to get better."
Beloit had reached the finals by topping Milton, 4-2, on Friday.
While they finished strong, the Knights still could only match Monroe's goal in the third period. They dug too deep a hole through two periods. That was the first and foremost lesson.
"I thought we played real well in the third period, but you can't just expect to turn it on,"Buchs said. "You need to be in it from the first drop of the puck," Buchs said. "You have to control what you can control. Effort is one of those things."
The Knights had several shots before Monroe's Luke Kuberski scored 1:18 into the game on the Cheesemakers' first real push.
Alec Bishop tied it for the Knights at 4:51, but a slapshot from the blue line by Payton Stauffacher sailed over goalie Aidan Wright's shoulder for a 2-1 lead.
Hayden Roth scored and Stauffacher found the goal again to make it 4-1, prompting Buchs to burn a timeout to regroup his Knights. They answered with a second goal by Bishop with Ryan Wirth and Aden Cobb collecting assists.
Despite two power-play opportunities for the Knights, the only goal of the second period came with 11:28 left on a rebound by Monroe's Cade Janecke.
The Knights' Gavin Jensen scored his first high school goal in the third period off a pass from Connor Evans. They had a number of shots after that as Monroe took four third-period penalties, but couldn't connect. Monroe's Stauffacher slipped away on a breakaway to collect his hat-trick goal of the game.
"We pound shots at the goalie and can't get one in and they break out and score," Buchs said. "That's the way it goes. Overall, though, we didn't have the presence with the puck we had on Friday. You have to be confident and have a purpose in mind. We were just too tentative."
Wright finished with 32 saves. Monroe goalie Heath Bear had 18.
• NOTES: On Friday, Beloit took a 4-0 lead through two periods and hung on against Milton. Four different Knights scored: Sean McCarthy, Aden Cobbs, Bishop and Tyler Harrington. Cobbs also had two assists. Wright had 27 saves, including 15 in the third period. ...Milton's goals were by Jayce Rocha and Mason Pusateri.
• FRIDAY'S BOXSCORE: BMHS 4, MILTON 2
Milton......0 0 2 - 2
Beloit Memorial..2 2 0 - 4
FIRST PERIOD: BM, McCarthy (Cobbs, Katalin), 3:47; BM, Cobbs (unassisted), 10:14.
SECOND PERIOD: BM, Bishop (Badger, Jensen), 10:54; BM, Harrington (Evans), 12:48.
THIRD PERIOD: M, Rocha (Ellis), 3:59; M, Pusateri (Hessenauer), 7:12.
Saves: M (Grote) 9-2-4-15, BM, Wright 9-13-15-27. Penalties: M 5-10, BM 9-21.
• SATURDAY'S BOXSCORE: MONROE 6, BMHS 3
Monroe.....4 1 1 - 6
Beloit Memorial...2 0 1 - 3
FIRST PERIOD: M, Kuberski (unassisted), 1:18; BM, Bishop (unassisted), 4:51; M, Stauffacher (unassisted), 6:34; M, Roth (Janecke), 13:45; Stauffacher, 14:26; BM, Bishop (Wirth, Cobbs), 15:27.
SECOND PERIOD: M, Janecke (Roth), 5:32.
THIRD PERIOD: BM, Jensen (Evans), 4:35; M, Stauffacher (Janecke), 11:08 (sh).
Saves: Monroe (Bear) 6-5-7-18, BM (Wright) 11-8-13-32. Penalties: M 7-14, BM4-8.