MN Hockey Hub
When a fresh-faced then-sophomore Meirs Moore fired a laser through traffic and into the net against Grand Rapids in the final minutes of regulation during the 2011 Section 7AA finals, it sent half of Amsoil Arena into a celebration and left everyone in the building with one overpowering impression — that Moore kid sure can shoot the puck.
Fast-forward two years, and Moore’s shot isn’t as good. It’s better.
“He’s got the best shot in the state,” teammate Alex Toscano said after Moore scored three power-play goals to lead Duluth East to a 4-2 win over Minnetonka on Tuesday, Jan. 29. “He knows how to find the net and [the puck] just whizzes past us.”
What Toscano is referring to is Moore’s rare ability to not only shoot the puck with speed, but to needle it through sticks and bodies and anything else that might be between his stick and the back of the net.
A lot of that has to do with his release, which varies from shot to shot. Sometimes, Moore will fire quickly; sometimes he waits and waits and then shoots.“Each game has different situations and you take a different shot depending on where the puck is and where everyone else is on the ice,” Moore said. “[My shot] has been a work in progress. This is my third year [at Duluth East], and every year my goal has been to get a few more goals each year.”
Moore has done just that as a member of the ‘Hounds varsity, as he already has 13 goals this year after notching six and 13 in his first two seasons. He shoots and scores in all situations, but his real prowess is displayed on the power play.
Duluth East has 17 power-play goals this season, seven of which have come off the blade of Moore. He credits his success on the man-advantage to a number of things, including coach Mike Randolph’s willingness to let him and his teammates get creative and interpret situations as needed.
“I feel really comfortable this year,” Moore said. “Coach gives us a little leeway to try new things, and that was one of my big reasons for staying in high school this year.”
Even with the freedom Randolph gives his players, he still makes them operate within a system. This year, that power-play system has changed. In the past, the ‘Hounds have worked an overload.
Against Minnetonka, Duluth East switched to an umbrella power play, with Moore and defensive partner Phil Beaulieu switching sides of the rink to get on their off-hands.
It paid dividends immediately.“Meirsy is our quarterback [on the power play], and that’s what the power play works around,” Randolph said. “We have a lot more options for Meirs and everyone else [now that we’ve switched up the system]. Jack [Forbort] is pretty good on his forehand, and we’ve been working on it the last few practices. The guys like it, and we like it.” Moore certainly likes it, as it plays right into his skillset.
“I think it was a change for the better,” he said. “It showed tonight with a couple power-play goals. Everyone has equal scoring chances, and me and Phil are both offensive and we like to shoot the puck. Having the puck up at the point we’re able to see seams and rip it through.”