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Boys Hockey State Tournament hits the ice this week

Posted: Monday, March 7, 2022 - 10:42 AM

BROOKYN CENTER, Minn. --- It’s time for the Boys Hockey to take center stage this week when the annual Minnesota State High School League tournament is held Wednesday, March 9 through Saturday, March 12, 2022 at two locations in the Twin Cities. The quarterfinals, semifinals, third place and championship games in two enrollment classes will be played at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. Consolation bracket games will be played at 3M Arena at Mariucci on the University of Minnesota campus.

Here is a look at the schedule of quarterfinal matchups:

Class A

Wednesday’s quarterfinals

·       Monticello (13-14-1) vs. No. 2 Warroad (24-3-1), 11 a.m. --- In 2017, Monticello, a co-op with Annandale and Maple Lake, made quite a splash in its state tournament debut when the Moose became fan favorites en route to a runner-up finish to Hermantown. This is the third trip for the program following a 3-2 victory over St. Cloud Cathedral in the Section 5A final. Senior center Wilson Dahlheimer powers the Moose with 23 goals and 24 assists. Monticello is 11-3-0 when scoring first. Warroad is hoping to duplicate the championship run that the school’s girls hockey program recorded less than two weeks ago. The Warriors, on a nine-game unbeaten streak, are 19-0-0 when leading or tied after one period. Senior right wing Daimon Gardner has 39 goals and 37 assists while linemate Jayson Shaugabay, a junior left wing, has 25 goals and 49 assists. Warroad’s last Class A championship came in 2005.

·       Mankato East/Loyola (17-10-1) vs. No. 3 Mahtomedi (16-11-1), 1 p.m. --- Mankato East/Loyola returns to the state tournament for the fourth time and first since 2020. Senior center Quinten Steindl has 11 goals and 23 assists to pace a balanced Cougars attack. Mankato East/Loyola is on a five-game winning streak entering the state tournament after a late-season 0-4-1 run. Mahtomedi, the 2020 Class A champion, is making the 13th state tournament appearance in program history following a 4-0 victory over Chisago Lakes in the Section 4A final. Mahtomedi head coach Jeff Poeschl is 476-290-26 record in 29 seasons. Senior first-line center David Wolsfeld has 22 goals and 24 assists.

·       New Prague (11-15-2) vs. No. 1 Hermantown (26-2-0), 7 p.m. --- New Prague is making a state tournament trip for the third time and first since 2015. The Trojans captured the Section 1A championship with a 5-2 victory over Albert Lea. Junior center John Schmidt has 26 points and senior right wing William Anderson has chipped in 25. Hermantown earned the top seed on the strength of a dominant season. The Hawks average nearly six goals per game and surrender just 1.4 The Hawks’ first line scorers are powerful: sophomore Max Plate (16 goals-51 assists), junior Zam Plante (20-37) and junior Kade Kohanski (21-36). Hermantown is seeking its fourth Class A championship. The previous three came in 2007, 2016 and 2017, respectively.

·       No. 5 Alexandria (19-6-2) vs. No. 4 Minneapolis (21-6-1), 8 p.m. --- Alexandria was a Class A championship-game entrant as recently as 2018 when the Cardinals dropped a 2-1 decision to Orono. This is Alexandria’s six state tournament trip. Alexandria, the runner-up in the Central Lakes Conference this season, is 9-0-1 in its past 10 games. The Cardinals average nearly five goals per game and surrender 2.6. Senior left wing Josiah Gronholz has 25 goals and 34 assists. Junior center Tyler Kludt has 13 goals and 35 assists. Minneapolis, a co-op of all seven high schools in the Minneapolis City Conference, is sending an entrant to the state tournament for the first time since 1994 when Minneapolis Edison qualified. The Novas are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games and are 15-2-1 when scoring first. Senior right wing Jack Hanson has 24 goals and 28 assists while senior center Zander Zoia has 11 goals and 30 assists.

Class AA

Thursday’s quarterfinals

·       Prior Lake (18-10) vs. No. 2 Cretin-Derham Hall (24-3), 11 a.m. --- Prior Lake is making its first-ever state tournament appearance after recording a 7-4 victory over Chaska in the Section 2AA championship game. The Lakers, third in the South Suburban Conference during the regular season, average 4.7 goals per game. Senior left wing Alex Bump has 41 goals and 35 assists while linemate Will Schumacher, a senior right wing, has 23 goals and 29 assists. On special teams, the Lakers have 11 short-handed goals this season. Cretin-Derham Hall, the Class AA champion in 2006, is on an 18-game winning streak entering their fourth state tournament appearance. Senior right wing Drew Fisher has a team-best 28 goals and 31 assists. Junior first-line center Jake Fisher is close behind with 23 goals and 29 assists.

·       Edina (20-8) vs. No. 3 Maple Grove (21-6-1), 1 p.m. --- Edina, seemingly a perennial entrant in the state tournament, is making its 29th trip. The Hornets outscored three opponents in the Section 6AA playoffs by a combined 14-0. Senior left wing Trey Fechko leads a balanced Hornets’ attack with 20 goals and 20 assists. Junior right wing Jimmy Clark has 15 goals and 21 assists. In the season-opener, Maple Grove lost to Edina 6-5 in overtime. The Crimson finished second in the Northwest Suburban Conference during the regular season and are on a 9-1-0 run to their third consecutive state tournament appearance. Junior Landen Gunderson has 19 goals and 53 assists. Junior left wing Finn Brink has a team-best 26 goals.  

·       Lakeville South (25-3-0) vs. No. 1 Hill-Murray (23-4-1), 6 p.m. --- Lakeville South was the No. 3 seed in last season’s state tournament finished as runner-up to Eden Prairie. This is the fourth consecutive state tournament trip for the Cougars, who are on a 16-game winning streak. Junior goalie Jack Hochsprung is 20-3 this season with a 1.36 goals-against average and .930 save percentage. Junior center Tanner Ludtke has 22 goals and 38 assists. His right winger, junior Willis Aidan, has 15 goals and 31 assists. Hill-Murray earned the top seed for his 32nd state tournament trip. Sophomore goalie Jack Erickson backstops the Pioneers with a 16-1-1 record, a 1.39 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage. Senior Dylan Godbout has 29 goals and 25 assists. Hill-Murray is 18-1-1 when scoring first.

·       No. 5 Andover (22-5-1) vs. No. 4 Moorhead (21-6-1), 8 p.m. --- Andover, the Northwest Suburban Conference champion, is making its third consecutive state tournament trip. The Huskies average 4.6 goals per game and surrender an average of 1.7. Andover is 20-0-1 when leading or tied after two periods. Junior center Cayden Casey has 21 goals and 46 assists. Junior right wing Gavyn Thoreson is a point behind with 25 goals and 41 assists. Moorhead is representing Section 8AA for the third consecutive season and is in the state tournament for the 18th time overall. The Spuds’ top line has accounted for 182 points this season. The breakdown: senior center Gavin Lindberg (21 goals, 43 assists), junior Harper Bentz (37-27) and senior left wing Caron Trigg (23-31). Moorhead is 8-1-1 in its past 10 games.


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MSHSL Connect, March 2022