Boys Hockey Class AA Quarterfinal --- Maple Grove 5, Andover 2
Posted: Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - 10:51 PM
Just more than a year ago, Maple Grove played Andover in the consolation final of the Class AA boys hockey state tournament and lost by three goals. The Crimson haven’t lost to the Huskies in three games since. Maple Grove’s latest victory was a 5-2 win in the big-school quarterfinals late Wednesday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Senior forward Ian Barbour scored two goals and senior defenseman Henry Nelson had a goal and an assist to pace a balanced attack for the No. 4-seeded Crimson (21-1-0) while senior defensemen Jonathon Halstrom and Ethan Elias chipped in two assists each to propel Maple Grove into the Class AA semifinals against No. 1 Eden Prairie on Friday. Maple Grove’s only setback this season wafs a 4-3 loss to Lakeville South on March 9. The Cougars are in the upper half of this season’s state tournament bracket and advance to the semifinals with a victory over Moorhead in the quarterfinals.
Earlier this season, Maple Grove defeated Andover twice during the Northwest Suburban Conference season by scores of 5-1 and 3-2, respectively.
In the third meeting, Maple Grove scored two goals in each of the first two periods in building a 4-2 lead after 34 minutes of play. Nelson had a power-play goal early in the second period to increase the Crimson lead to 3-1 and that margin grew to 4-1 following an even-strength goal from senior forward Kyle Kukkonen midway through the stanza.
Andover (18-3-1) ended the period on a power-play goal with 1:07 remaining on a power-play goal from senior forward Garrett Schifsky. Sophomore forward Gavin Thoreson also had a goal for the Huskies.