Class AA Boys Hockey State Quarterfinal Andover 2, Moorhead 1, 2 OT
Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2022 - 11:36 PM
Typically, state tournament games between the Nos. 5 and 4 seeds, respectively, are the most entertaining and closely contested. The final Class AA quarterfinal of the Minnesota State High School League’s Boys Hockey State Tournament solidified that theory when No. 5 Andover faced No. 4 Moorhead in the final quarter of the big-school class on Thursday, March 10, 2022, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Staunch defense was the central theme throughout as quality offensive chances were precious as both teams played a dump-and-chase style in an effort to best the other.
That one golden chance came for Andover and the Huskies didn’t let it slip away.
Junior right wing Gavyn Thoreson finished a picture-perfect one-two combo play with 5:42 remaining in double overtime to give the Huskies a 2-1 victory over the Spuds in a marathon match that lasted 2 hours and 42 minutes. Junior center created the game-winning sequence when he corralled a loose puck at the center line. He streaked in on the left side and slide a long angular pass to Thoreson who was converging from the right circle. Using the backside blade of his stick, Thoreson tapped a one-time shot over the left shoulder of Moorhead goalie sophomore Kai Wegel.
The victory sends the Huskies (23-5-1) to the Class AA semifinals on Friday night against top-seeded Hill-Murray. Moorhead (21-7-1) moves to the consolation side of the bracket and faces Lakeville South at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
Twice in the late stages, Andover had goals disallowed after review. With 1:44 left in the first overtime, an apparent goal was waved off when it was determined that a whistle had stopped play. The Huskies, and their fans, believed they had won as a shot had trickled through Moorhead sophomore goalie Kai Weigel and stuffed in just before two players collided and the goal came off its mooring.
The other dramatic moment came with 16.3 seconds remaining in regulation time. After review, the apparent goal by junior center Cayden Casey was disallowed because it was ruled it was re-directed by his skate.
In third game of the season, Moorhead recorded a 6-1 victory over the Huskies on Dec. 3.
Each team scored a goal in a five-minute timeframe that left the score knotted at 1-all after two periods of play.
Junior forward Cooper Conway opened the scoring for Andover on a goal with just under six minutes elapsed in the second period. It was his 12th goal of the season. But Moorhead answered on a wrist shot from the right circle by junior winger Harper Bentz for his 38th goal of the season.
Through two periods of play, the Spuds held a 29-14 advantage in shots, but no lead to show for it on the scoreboard. Andover senior goalie Austin Brauns made 28 saves through two periods, including 18 in the second period.
Both Moorhead and Andover lost in the quarterfinals during the state tournament in 2021 which was played in a condensed format with no consolation round.